January 6, 2012 (RUMBEK) - The speaker of the Lakes State assembly, John Marik Makur, has lifted the immunity of a member of parliament over the allegations of child abduction in Uganda.
- Lakes state parliament speaker John Marik Makur (left) and Assembly clerk Benjamin Matiok (right) (ST)
Zechariah Puoric Matuong, who represents the Malek constituency in Rumbek Central County, had his immunity from prosecution removed after a request submitted 21 December by the state’s attorney general.
In South Sudan only the speaker of a state assembly can remove immunity against a state MP. Marik said that the MP would have face questions and court proceedings about the allegations.
Marik explained that article 65 sub article 2 of the Lakes State interim constitution gives him the right to wave the impunity of any MP if they have been accused of a crime.
However the accused MP, Zechariah Puoric Matuong, told the press from custody in Rumbek central police station, that he denied the allegation, saying that the child he had brought back from Uganda was his own son.
Matuong explained that the child was coming from Kampala to visit him and relatives.
This is the first time Lakes state parliament has lifted the immunity of an MP since the latest parliament was established in May 2010, with 48 representatives.