Alleged Ethiopian torturer to be deported

ATLANTA, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- An Atlanta resident who is charged with torture in Ethiopia is expected to be the first immigrant deported under the intelligence reform act.

Kelbessa Negewo, 54, was arrested in Atlanta and procedures for deportation were quickly begun, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday.


Negewo was accused of participating in torture for Ethiopia's Mengistu regime, which was in power from 1974 to 1991.

"We were able to establish that he was a human rights violator and he should not have been allowed in the country," said Kenneth Smith of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The case is believed to be the first under the Intelligence Reform Act signed by President Bush late last year.

Immigration officials said there are more than 200 investigations pending.

Edgegayehu Taye, who said he was one of Negewo's victims, spotted him 15 years ago at an Atlanta hotel where he worked as a maid. Taye and two other Ethiopians sued Negewo in 1990.

Negewo fled Ethiopia in 1987 and filed for asylum in the United States.

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