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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Colorado

Friday, October 11, 2013

U.S. Attorney John Walsh Issues Statement About Conviction Of War Criminal "John Doe" Following Week Long Jury Trial

“After a comprehensive investigation and an emotional jury trial, John Doe, a/k/a Kefelegn Alemu Worku, has been convicted of identity theft and lying to the United States government to gain entry and ultimately become a naturalized citizen.  As the United States proved at trial, the defendant was in fact a war criminal, responsible for the persecution, torture and murder of defenseless people in the late 1970s in Ethiopia during the “Red Terror.”  At trial, the United States presented as witnesses several of the victims the defendant had personally tortured.   Their testimony was chilling, as was the fact that the defendant at trial sat with his back turned to them as they testified, until ordered by the Court to turn around so that his victims could identify him. 

“Although no order of a U.S. Court can undo the crimes perpetrated by the defendant in Ethiopia, this trial offered Alemu Worku’s victims the opportunity to speak the truth bravely for all to hear and to see that a measure of justice would be done, at long last.   As a result of defendant’s conviction, U.S. District Court Judge John L. Kane today immediately stripped Alemu Worku of his unlawfully obtained citizenship. 

“I would like to recognize the outstanding work of Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Jeff Lembke, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lily Alves, and lead prosecutor Assistant U.S. Attorney Brenda Taylor, who worked diligently and with great purpose and skill.   In the end, their efforts and the courage of the victims who testified have ensured that Alemu Worku is no longer was able to hide ‘in plain sight’.”

John Walsh
United States Attorney, District of Colorado


Updated June 22, 2015