From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Apr 30 2009 - 13:32:31 EDT
Dear Sophia Tesfamariam!
This is excellent news indeed! I had little doubt you would win in the
first place, no matter what Gadi the pedophile claimed, but it's still
great to see it happen. If the bad guys would just start behaving a
little more ethically, you wouldn't have to go through any of this.
Anyway, thanks for all your hard work. It's very much appreciated.
From: Sophia Tesfamariam (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Apr 30 2009 - 12:23:23 EDT
I am here to let all my well wishers and readers that we have prevailed.
We have scored a political and legal victory against Saleh Gadi a.k.a
Saleh Johar. On 21 April 2008, the Superior Court of California in
Sacramento dismissed his civil case against me. This victory is not mine
alone and I want to thank everyone of you that traveled this journey
with me. Your letters, emails and phone calls have meant a lot to me and
my family. I want to thank everyone who supported me, and I especially
want to thank my lawyer Karl Olson, a brilliant and honest lawyer, for a
magnificent job he did in defending me out there in California. I want
Karl to know that Gadi is not representative of the Eritrean people, who
are well mannered and cultured. I am sorry that Karl and his team had to
put up with Gadi's tantrums and incivility.
As many of you know, after the publication of my article "Asmara Rose
responds to the Awate Team", Gadi and his cohorts decided to slap me
with a libel suit. I received a couple of long winded letters during the
summer of 2008 in which demands for an apology and a retraction were
made. The first letter came in May 2008, and the second one came in
August 2008. Both letters gave a two-week deadline for response. After
discussions with my lawyer, I decided not to respond to either letter. I
had nothing to apologize for and was prepared to fight him in court.
After almost a year since the article's publication, on January 2009 I
received a summons; Gadi had filed his case in a California Court,
knowing full well that I lived in Virginia. He filed the suit against me
and 1-50 DOES (as in Jane and John Doe), and Gadi falsely claimed the
".At all times relevant hereto, Defendant DOES 1 to 50 were employed by
Sophia Tesfamariam. Plaintiff is informed and believes that DOES 1 to 50
maybe Sacramento County residents."
While my only connection with Sacramento is a date in Sacramento for
some good red wine, the truth is, I do not have any employees, not here
in Virginia, or anywhere else. He made up that lie so that he could file
I was not going to inconvenience my family and jeopardize my job, to
make it easy for him, so I filed a motion to strike on grounds that the
California courts had no jurisdiction in this case, since I have never
lived in the beautiful State, even if I had visited it several times,
had no property there, no bank accounts etc. I chose not to fight him on
his terms. I also filed another motion to strike under the California
anti-SLAPP law. It was rendered moot when the judge agreed with me and
granted my motion to dismiss on the first motion.
After all that boisterous campaigning on pal talk, Asmarino.com,
Awate.com and others and after making personal appearances in Atlanta,
GA and elsewhere to gather support for his case, and defame me, and
after setting up the Awate Defense Fund and raising over $36,000, Saleh
Gadi told the Court, "I am representing myself in this case simply
because I cannot afford a lawyer". I still do not know why he waited
until the last minute to file, as there are statutes of limitations on
such cases, and do not know why he chose to represent himself. I could
speculate but will not do so at this time.
I am glad that I did not back down and allow Saleh Gadi to intimidate me
into submission. His intention to muzzle me and prevent me from exposing
the truth has failed. I can now move forward with greater conviction and
morale and know that no amount of scare tactics and harassments can
prevent me from defending the people of Eritrea. After remaining silent
while the case was in progress, and after putting up with harassments,
intimidations and taunts from Saleh Gadi and his supporters, I must say
that I am relieved that I am able to share with my readers what really
transpired over the last year.
I do not know what Gadi intends to do, but whatever it is, I am up to
the challenge. The intention is to dissuade me from exposing the truth
and that can never happen. We will also challenge Gadi and his cohorts
in the courts, if need be, and should not be bullied into remaining
silent. I promise to write a more detailed account of the case in the
near future when I have had a chance to read through the many documents.
Again, I thank you all for your continued support
Happy 18th Independence Anniversary to all.
Zelealemawi zKri n'semaetatna