Ermias T. Amelga, founder and former CEO of Access Real Estate S.C., has been granted release from police custody today, against a half a million Birr bond. After 70 days in police custody pending probe on alleged breach of “trust and aggravated fraud”, a Judge at the Federal First Instance Court ruled the suspect should leave for home, but banned him from overseas travels.
Appeal for right of bail by Ermias lawyers was not without challenge though. Federal investigators claimed a 1.4 billion Br case warrants more bond value than the amount granted, that the business mogul presents a flight risk, and letting him out would enable him to tamper with evidence and win witnesses over. However, the Judge who oversaw the proceedings at Addis Abeba’s Federal First Instance Court in Arada District ruled that these claims have not been substantiated in the third month of the investigation. Investigators have also pleaded that Ermias stays under custody, at least until the ongoing audit investigation is completed.
Ermias has made an emotional appeal to the Judge that he has not been able to generate income for the last three years, thus has 25,000 Br in his possession. He told the Judge he is dependent on his family to survive.
Notwithstanding, the man who has been a sore point of discussion among over 2,500 home buyers and no less than 600 shareholders will be able to walk the streets of Addis Abeba by the end of this week if he comes up with the bond money.