Tigrai Online - July 11, 2013
An Ethiopian immigrant known as John Doe admits in a letter to a federal judge that he is Kefelegn Alemu Worku, who prosecutors think tortured and killed dozens of political prisoners in his home country in the 1970s.
Worku, who was living in the metro area under the name Habteab Berhe Temanu, has been behind bars for almost 11 months on charges that he lied on immigration documents.
"I am not Habteab Berhe Temanu or 'John Doe,' " Worku said in a handwritten letter to Senior U.S. District Judge John Kane dated June 23 and filed in the Doe case.
"My name is Kefelegne Alemu Worku. I lied to U.S. gov't officials and I accepted documents that were not rightfully mine. This was wrong and I apologize for my errors I simpley wanted to live in America."
Prosecutors say they think that Worku took part in Ethiopia's Red Terror, a purge of those suspected of opposing a Marxist regime that seized power in the 1970s. It isn't known how many Ethiopians were arrested, imprisoned, tortured and killed during the period, but some estimates reach into the hundreds of thousands.
Worku is scheduled to be tried in U.S. District Court in Denver on Aug. 12. Instead of going to trial, he wants to plead guilty at a hearing scheduled for Thursday.
Tigrai Online published a news item a year ago that a Derg cadre living in the USA was arrested on August 24, 2012 in Denver, Colorado by American Federal Agents. Kefelegn Alemu Worku is suspected of torturing political prisoners decades ago in Ethiopia. He is under investigation he might have involvement in atrocities against Ethiopian civilians when he was working for the communist government of Mengistu Hailemariam.