Getachew Assefa, former Director General of NISS, and three other former officials identifed as Atsebha Gidey, Assefa Belay, and Shishay Leul, were charged in absentia at the Lideta Federal High Court, according to a statement issued by office of the Federal Attorney General on Tuesday
The defendants are suspected of gross human rights violations such as torture, forced confessions, sodomy, rape, electrocution, and arbitrary detention of people including in secret facilities.
The Attorney General filed a total of 46 charges against the defendants.
Getachew has been hiding in the country's Tigray regional state which has refused to hand over the suspect to the central government since the new administration under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in April last year.
He is accused of the killing of hundreds of people and the unlawful detention of thousands following widespread protests against the erstwhile government of Abiy's predecessor.
Other 25 former officials and employees of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), were also charged over the same case.