BY LUCY KASSA
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER
Accuser claims lending to Ali Birra, 340,000 Br which the artist denys; prosecuter have filed forgeary charge on accuser.
Famous Oromiffa singer Ali Birra manages to get a suspension of hearing in a civil trial filed against him, involving an alleged 340,000 Br loan, which, if he failed to repay in time, would cost him a house he is said to own in Jimma.
The Lideta Federal High Court decided to suspend the appellate civil trial of Ali Birra vs his respondent Jefar on December 30, 2014, based on the singer’s request to hold the case until a pending criminal case in another court which is directly related to the issue in the civil dispute is closed.
The case was initially instituted by the respondent Jefar against Ali Birra claiming that the singer had entered a contract of debt worth of 340,000 Br with him and signed to pay back the debt, but if he failed to pay the debt on the agreed time to hand over his house. As the contract is not performed and the payment is not rendered an accusation either for the delivery of the house or for the enforcement of the payment including the interest of the debt was instituted by the creditor, Jafar, at the Federal First Instance Court of Kolfe Keranyo.
The defendant denied the presence of the contract at all, and, as a substitute defense, he argued that even in case if the court would confirm the presence of the contract, the contract was void because it did not fulfill the essential conditions of a contract provided in the law. The singer also said that the signature on the contract document which the plaintiff presented was not his. Ali Birra’s claim was supported by a forensic report from the federal police, based on which the court ruled that there was no contract between the two sides.
The plaintiff appealed to the Lideta Federal High Court for reversal of the lower court’s decision alleging that the lower court passed a judgment without considering the plaintiff’s objection that the forensic evidence is not a conclusive one and by basing its evidence only on the forensic document, disregarding other documentary evidences produced by the plaintiff.
The higher court reversed the lower court’s decision after probing the produced evidences. Afterwards, the artist filed to the same court to review the judgment, which is passed by itself. The application was based on article six of the civil procedure code, which states that if a new and important matter, such as forgery or bribery, is discovered after the judgment, the applicant may apply for review. The high court had accepted this petition for review and was examining the case.
But pending the examination, the artist filed another petition to the court to suspend the trial, noting that another criminal suit which is directly related with the case at hand is instituted by public prosecutor against the respondent, Jefar. The criminal suit is on a forgery and fraud committed at the documentary evidence produced by the respondent at court. Thus, the high court, being convinced that the judgment of the criminal trial is directly related to the civil hearing, ruled for suspension of the civil trial until a final judgment of the criminal suit is rendered by the other court, Federal First Instance Court of Kolfe Keranyo.