Date: Fri May 01 2009 - 00:32:37 EDT
Agenah !! Congratulations on your victory, Sophia !! It is
rumored that Saleh Gadi is munching his "Pencils" out of
I have long contended that, in general, people who dwell on scouring for
some negative aspects of the actions of anybody, of a group, or any
organization must be avoided and ignored. They are sick people and nothing
good can come out of them. And, sadly, the Awate Group has for long
exemplified such negativity. As I have expressed it here many times in the
past, the Awate Group would disintegrate, wither and cease to exist were
not to be mired in the distortion of the truth, in the exaggeration of
commonly accepted shortcomings and in the propagation of baseless
and uncorroborated disinformation. In short, the Awate Group has been on
a self-destructing and desperation course for some time. This nonsensical
frivolous libel suit is yet another example of Awate Group's ultimate
desperation and self-destruction.
"Halilu zimetse adgi akbidka tsiAno"
“Stubborn and ardent clinging to one's
opinion is the best proof of stupidity.”...
.............. Michel de Montaigne
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
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 following:
“…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 in
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
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
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