Home | News    Friday 21 March 2014

Trial of detained S. Sudanese politicians resumes as Juba defies global pressure

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March 20, 2014 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese high court on Thursday ruled that it would continue hearing the case against four of the country’s senior politicians charged with treason despite the absence of the seven co-accused officials released over a month ago.

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Former SPLM secretary-general Pagan Amum attends his court trial in the South Sudan capital, Juba, on 11 March 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Andreea Campanu)

State prosecutor James Mayen last week asked court to adjourn the trial for a week, pending the arrival of the seven officials, now in the hands of Kenyan authorities.

Mayen argued that the trial, which was meant to start on Wednesday, could not go ahead as the issue of the seven politicians in Kenya was still being pursued by the foreign affairs ministry.

“It is matter of time and they (the seven co-accused) will come”, said the state prosecutor.

But Monytil Alor, the lawyer defending the four treason suspects, objected to the state prosecutor’s request.

Meanwhile, the five judges of the high court hearing the case later ruled that the politicians in Kenya were not legally obliged to appear in court because “bail regulations were not followed” when the seven were released.

“[In order] not to delay justice for the four accused, the request made by prosecutor is rejected,” the judges, headed by Justice James Alala, ruled.

They said the trial of the four officials, who include the former secretary-general of South Sudan’s ruling party (SPLM), Pagan Amum, former ambassador Ezekiel Gatkuoth, as well as former ministers Majak D’Agot and Oyai Deng could continue irrespective of the absence of the other seven released on bail.

DEFENCE HAILS COURT RULING

Alor described the ruling made by the judges as “victory for the defence”.

“The persecution [team] wanted to delay the trial on the grounds that the seven [officials released on bail] were not brought [to the court] and they (the persecution team) wanted to wait for the seven. We objected to that vigorously,” the defence lawyer told Sudan Tribune.

Meanwhile, state witnesses who included a police officer identified as Siad Abudalizi and Marial Chanuon, the commander of the presidential guards, testified before court that South Sudan’s former vice-president, Riek Machar, and his group, which included the four officials now on trial,had incited the violence, which initially erupted in the capital, Juba, in mid-December last year .

The trial continues on Friday, with lawyers from both sides due to cross-examine witnesses.

Other state witnesses expected to testify before the court include Maj-Gen Marial Nuor from the national police service, interior minister Aleu Ayieny Aleu, director for military intelligence Mac Paul, director-general for the internal security bureau Akol Koor Kuc and director-general for external relations Thomas Duoth.

None of the senior officials were present in court during the trial’s opening, although a case number was obtained from police, with officials claiming liability.

JUBA DEFIES PRESSURE

The trial of the four accused officials, which commenced last week, continued on Thursday despite mounting international pressure demanding their release ahead of the resumption of peace talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, this month.

Observers have questioned the lack of complainants against the accused, although some security officers and government officials have emerged as eyewitnesses to the mid-December events.

(ST)

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  • 21 March 07:06, by Sir King

    Government under uneducated person will never take people of South Sudan nowhere. People are completely desperate and would do nothing unless the world tries to intervene to stop further aggreviation. How can he be sending Warrap youth to be demonstrating against UN as international body. Sorry, the dumb man may go. But nobody needs Dr. Riek Machar too, he lacks patient in him.

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    • 21 March 07:08, by Sir King

      Dinka and Nuer should stop this useless fighting and hand over the leadership to other neutral person. Otherwise Pagan Amum may be capable to take on this nation and that is why Kiir’s leader wants to get rid of capable man.
      Kiir must be crazy!

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      • 21 March 08:42, by Mr Point

        Who has yet been brought to trial for the systematic murder of innocent civilians in Juba on December 15?

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      • 21 March 08:44, by Mr Point

        Who has yet been prosecuted for the systematic murder of innocent civilians in Juba on December 15?

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    • 21 March 07:10, by Mi diit

      How do you expect Mrs Akiir Museveni to heed to the world’s pressure to release the detainees when Yoweri Museveni has been assuring him day and night of his support in building dictatorship and harassing and killing fellow citizens in South Sudan? Knock out Museveni first and you see Mrs Akiir coiling her tail in submission.

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      • 21 March 07:33, by Mi diit

        Mrs Akiir and Museveni must have been keeping some binding top secrets which might have lost lives of big leaders in the past and intend to murder some more. They are a pair of blood thirsty murderers in the region.

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        • 21 March 09:51, by mathem jech amer

          Mi diit
          Did the seven jpoint him after their trelease, maybe the four will again form the "fourth bloc".

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    • 21 March 11:10, by Makuen Ci Nhomwan

      I agree with you saying that you don,t want Riek Machar and disagree with you saying that you don,t wanted president Kiir Mayardit. Dr. Riek is the absolute defector and that is his nature we don,t want crazy Nyigat to rule S. S no.

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    • 21 March 11:31, by Son of Ngundeng

      Dear all,
      That was a chronological problem between Nuer and Dinka, it will not be solve easyly. Kiir Goverment alrady fail, does why he need to rid off the really leadrs of this new nation, inorder to lead the poor nation to the baar, instead they can be educated. Because uneducated man can lead the country to the darkness, we cannot accept the leader who have no capacity of leadership.

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  • 21 March 07:11, by maluach madit

    It must to be clearly understood by GOSS that Pagan and Oyai are not the enemies of South Sudan. Look when the Khartoum government humiliated and arrested him few years after CPA was signed. Ok, let us assume that he is an enemy of SPLA, where do you think he will go?, following Riek?!, that is too difficult for Pagan Amum to do . Please, I still inquire the release of Amum Okich...

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    • 21 March 07:14, by maluach madit

      My information to Pagan is, let DR Riek Ngundeng die alone and don’t attempt to follow him on any circumstances, otherwise, majority of your supporters will desert you once and for all and you will collapse to your toe !. The above buffoons like Midiit, Kim are nothing to our nation history.

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      • 21 March 07:25, by Mi diit

        Maluach Madit,
        Stop pretending that you love Pagan Amum. If you truly love him why don’t you people organize a demonstration in front of the court and Kiir’s office demanding his release? Even those 7 were released because of Riek’s pressure. Pagan Amum was supporting Riek’s democratic stance and will join him if released. Kiir is a foreign agent ready to die...

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        • 21 March 07:47, by maluach madit

          Maybe I am not there yet our voices are sometimes heard by this government, which is why prosecution has been extended usually.
          Midiit, truth can be said brother, your hope for riek’s leadership in South Sudan is a dream my dear friend. Riek Machar dreams while walking in a hot sun shine instead of sleeping. As young political analyst, you would better talk about bringing any other Nuer man ...

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          • 21 March 07:49, by maluach madit

            ..not Riek dude !. You are Making Kiir relaxed excessively on his chair because he is competing with hyena. Even when election was peacefully allowed last year between wolf and hyena, none of us would have chosen Riek, except Kiir or any other Nuer. I am sure some Nuer are very brave and energetic gentlemen, but most of you are born idiot who know only how to fight your brothers.

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            • 21 March 07:50, by maluach madit

              ... Think twice, these old men will go then we come for the ruling of this country one day one time.

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              • 21 March 08:10, by Mi diit

                Maluach Madit,
                The only greatest personality respected by dead and living Dinka leaders is Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon. They tremble at the mention of his name, which they have turned into hatred for no reason at all. Mark my words, that Riek Machar you hear will be in Juba and Kiir will be no more. Any lesson yet?

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                • 21 March 12:28, by Toney Toney Matot

                  Midiit
                  you used to sing Riek machar always as your daily song, why don’t you get married to him since you love him so much.

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        • 21 March 11:56, by Mayom County Boy

          to
          maluach madit i does n.t understand your post because you say pagan
          & Wicyay are not part of SPLA enemy .who are the SPLA enemy tell me .

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  • 21 March 07:16, by Axiox

    Those released 7 accused would have to be fools to return to Juba. This has turned out to be another year of potential development wasted like 2013.

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    • 21 March 07:18, by Axiox

      Is war all we know as Sudanese people?

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  • 21 March 07:16, by Frak Cho

    The so call global community is double standard. This is Independent country, let the law take it course. If they are judged wrongly, then they have to appeal till they prove either innocent or guilty.

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    • 21 March 18:41, by ngadodo

      Frak Cho, it’s would be no fairness in that trials because, couple of days ago, Mr: Cowboy Salva Kiir, premanvitively he was asked Court to charged those leaders maximum Sentences. so where those Guys going to be a lives? they’re may going to be serving life’s sentences in jails, at less alcohols took Salva Kiir his life that is only way out those Guys going to be lives.

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  • 21 March 07:54, by Ajongtar

    If I was March Poul, I will accept to be used by Kiir, as Eye witness for the 15 Dec 2013 masacree that happened in Juba.
    First of all Mac Poul you where in Uganda fo medicall treatment, how do you become a witness while you were away when the incident took place?

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    • 21 March 09:42, by ngadodo

      For me this trials it’s about John Garang politics and it’s distortion for people whom was closer to him and intellectually sense which they are have.
      it’s would be not acceptable in the Country to threatens those four people whom their important then presidents but Slava Kiir he doesn’t know that. no one should do any wrong event if he did mistake somebody like Oyei Deng Ajack

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