Ethiopia’s former prime minister Tamerat Layne will be released from prison on Friday after spending 12 years behind bars, state-media said.

“Tamerat showed good behaviour while imprisoned and will be released from jail before completing his term,” state-run Ethiopian Television Thursday quoted justice ministry officials as saying.

The former premier was sentenced to 18 years in jail in 2000 after the Supreme Court found him guilty on three counts of corruption and abuse of power.

Tamerat was accused of involvement in an illegal 16 million-dollar deal (11 million euros at today’s rates) with a firm to export Ethiopian textile products.

He was also accused of using his position to export 1,000 tonnes of state-owned coffee through a bogus firm and of using another company to obtain a tender for the supply of construction equipment worth 13 million dollars.

Tamerat served as prime minister of the Horn of Africa nation’s transitional government for four years from 1991 and later as deputy prime minister and defense minister until he was sacked and arrested in 1996.

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