Friday, November 29, 2013

Family of drowned Ethiopian man question police investigation

(Nova 29, 2013, (Maribyrnong VIC, Australia))--Family and friends of a young Ethiopian man whose body was found in the Maribyrnong River say an inquiry into his death has left suspicions lingering. The inquest on the mysterious death of 22-year-old Michael Atakelt that ended on Friday heard that he drowned but has left unanswered questions among Melbourne's Ethiopian community who believe he was murdered and that the police investigation was mishandled.

Mr Atakelt's body was pulled from the Maribyrnong River on July 7, 2011. The Coroners Court heard his likely time of death was late on June 26, meaning his body could have floated in the river for 11 days before it was found.

Mr Atakelt was in police custody two nights before he disappeared, the court heard. Mr Atakelt's father, Getachew Seyoum, said he did not believe the investigation into his son's death had been "thorough and rigorous''. In February the inquest was put on hold for the investigation to be resumed after Mr Atakelt's point of entry to the river was revised and a witness told of seeing Mr Atakelt upstream near the river with an older white man shortly before his disappearance. Read more from The Age »

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