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South Sudan court sentences 16 officials to life imprisonment

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June 13, 2016 (JUBA) - A High Court in South Sudan’s national capital, Juba, has sentenced to life imprisonment 16 officials for playing a role in the stealing of more than 14 million US dollars from the office of President Salva Kiir.

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President Salva Kiir addresses the nation at the South Sudan National Parliament in Juba, November 18, 2015. (Photo Reuters/Jok Solomon)

The High Court judge, Ladu Armenio, delivered the sentences on Monday afternoon. However, the defence lawyers have vowed to appeal the ruling.

John Agou Wuoi, Anyieth Chaat Paul, Yel Luol, Chaat Paul, Mayen Wol, Diing Ajieng, Nhumot Agot, Ana Kalisto, Kur Ayuen, Garang Aguer, Francis Yata, Anyang Majok Ayuen, Anthony Madimo, Anthony Dia, Raphini Jadada and Lisiuma are among the sentenced officials found to have stolen the money in a coordinated process.

President Kiir in June 2015 issued administrative orders suspending the executive director in his office, Mayen Wol and Yel Luol, chief administrator, who were until Monday sentenced to spend the rest of their lives behind bars.

This follows a month after national security officer attached to the Office of the President, John Agou, was arrested over the fraud. The men were accused and suspended on charges related to forging signature of President Kiir. This led to the loss of over $14 million in the name of the president.

The officials were allegedly using the signature of the president to steal 30 million South Sudanese pounds, with the help of 14 officials from the Central Bank and ministry of finance.

“The accused have been accused for abusing their power and misusing their positions and violated financial rules and regulations,” said Deng Achuil, senior legal counsel at the high court.

(ST)

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  • 13 June 2016 23:50, by dinkdong

    What about the first 75 government officials who first stole the country resources between 2010 and 2013 and that included Kiir, what will the "South Sudan court" sentence them to, death? Corrupted court!

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    • 14 June 2016 01:14, by Nyesi Ta

      Injustice in the justice system of Kiir Al Awiir gov’t. The 75 original thieves who stole billions of dollars must be tried for the court to prove to the people they are not unjust.

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      • 14 June 2016 14:30, by Abyei Soil

        Ta,,,,

        For your info, 75 officials who stole money earlier, your boss riek cin puou is among them. If president Kiir’s govt stage this to extend of 75 guys, you will cry one eye I know.

        Very confused FVP is a wanted man in hidden, thank for understanding! Justice must be done, I am happy with the ruling.

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        • 14 June 2016 22:28, by Nyesi Ta

          Abyei Soil,

          You are a tribalist. For your information I’m talking about justice not anybody’s boss. Justice does not distinguish and discriminate among criminals and if Dr. Riek is among the 75 stomach politicians, then he will have to face justice. And you should remember Kiir Al Awiir is the president when the money was stolen under his watch.

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    • 14 June 2016 10:16, by Majongdulthii Anyang-majongduldit

      You hit the point if the court sentenced 16 people for 14 millions what of 75 who steal 4 billions and they went unpunished where is the justice here?

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  • 14 June 2016 07:00, by Lorolokin

    Kiir will not bring those 75 thieves to book because Kiir himself is among the 75.
    Kinkak

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    • 14 June 2016 07:33, by Akook

      This is a good beginning. Corruption will be fought hard. It can not be done one day all list of 75. A good step to the right direction. Mayen Wol and Luol are senior officials and very close to Kiirdit. If they can be punish, then I believe no one would ever be closer again to Kiir to avoid justice

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      • 14 June 2016 17:14, by Hardlinner

        this is how the criminals should be sentenced. based how long would it take each to earn a million dollars in south sudan?. probably a live time. depending on who take which share should determine how long those 16 thieves stayed behind bars. the master minds would definitely qualified for life in prison. those who received less should have short term sentencing.

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  • 14 June 2016 08:09, by Mike Mike

    The South Sudanese National high court would have even includes President Kiir because he was the one who brought those thieves/relatives to come and mishandled national resources like that. there is where on this world whereby one relatives occupied what so-called presidency office and started to stage looting only than to make work better for those living in rural areas to get basic services.

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  • 14 June 2016 09:30, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    Yes, 75 corrupts leaders should be trial also, if country open sentencing to life in prison to those who mismanaged country resources or funds from different donors.

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  • 14 June 2016 10:02, by Dengda

    What is your point guys? what is the correlation b/n 75 & 16 officials, we should appreciate the step taken by government to tried those, it first justice ever, and than later we talk of 75 official, don’t mix thing. Justice never got old or die, lets encourages the high court decision. Thanks to Akook you got it right. wedon’t confuse the public, if your closes relative than go and appeal the cas

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  • 14 June 2016 11:32, by Mr. Right

    As far as the ruling has been passed, justice has been served but I disagree with the nature of the ruling.

    Sentencing people to life imprisonment for that kind of crime was unjust and politically motivated. 15-20 years behind bars would have matched the crime. Mediocre judges!!

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    • 14 June 2016 12:59, by Dengda

      I agree and concurred with you, the sentence is harsh and may be review, but I welcome the judiciary move, the court is learning to exercise it power. The appropriate sentenced would suppose to be first collect the stolen money or assets and then 10 years imprisonment, eligibility for parole after 5 years and bared them to hold any public office for life for those convicted with this crime.

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  • 14 June 2016 14:56, by Mapuor

    Congratulations dear president Kiir Mayardit. You are the only person in South Sudan who punishes thieves. The rest are rubbish. Billions of dollars were stolen in the SPLA by Oyai Deng Ajak,Majak Agot,Pieng Deng the Jallaba,Mathok Geng etc and you showed them the way dear president. You dismissed Dr Riek with all other thieves who stole billions of dollars in 2013.

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    • 14 June 2016 15:02, by Mapuor

      President Kiir must rule for life for he is the only politician who practices justice. Those of Dr Riek Machar, Lam Akol, Pagan Anum etc are the most corrupt people in the world. We will never give them chance to rule this country.Dr Riek Machar is now trying to loot the country using cantonment areas where thousands of ghost names will be put on army’s payroll.

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      • 14 June 2016 20:47, by lino

        It is a great move for South Sudan, but lots need to be done. The President has to be checked out too with all his relatives and family, then other SPLM/A official without any exception.
        Also, all people who benefited from fake contracts, and if you are from Warab or Northern Bhar Elgazal and become rich in only 11 years, you are in hock too; these people must be checked out carefully.

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        • 14 June 2016 20:49, by lino

          South Sudanese people need their 4 billion back to built Roads, Schools, hospitals, and provide for daily necessity of life!!!

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