Abdurahman Sheikh Hassan, who was based in Ethiopia's troubled south-eastern Ogaden region, was charged last July with having links to the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), a secessionist rebel group.He is charged along with Sherif Baido, whom the charge sheet lists as a senior member of the ONLF and was convicted on the same charge in absentia, according to Kidane. The two men face five to ten years in prison. The court is expected to deliver a sentence on Friday. Hassan was arrested after negotiating the release of two UN World Food Programme (WFP) officers kidnapped in the Ogaden.
But Hassan's lawyer Netsanet Getahun asked the court to be lenient towards her client."My client hasn't harmed anyone, he hasn't done any concrete damage... we want the court to be considerate because he has already served one year in jail," she said, adding that Hassan suffers from high blood pressure and heart disease and has a large family to support.