April 11, 2017 (JUBA) – The Court of Appeal reviewing the case against the 16 accused persons convicted to life imprisonment for alleged involvement in corruption at the office of the South Sudanese president has quashed the case and ordered that the accused persons be re-tried.
- Juba high court where the case was being tried (Radio Tarmajuz)
The court, in an 80-page ruling, also directed that the accused persons remain at Juba Central Prison during re-trial as the ruling directed.
The defence advocates representing the 16 accused persons and prison authorities were served with the copies of the judgment on Tuesday.
The 16 accused were arrested by the General Intelligence Bureau on different dates starting with John Agou and his employees from Click Technologies Ltd premises on 29 May 2015. Two senior presidential aides, who included the former chief administrator, Mayen Wol Jong and the ex-executive director, Yel Luol Koor were also suspended and placed under investigation.
The 16 were accused of alleged involvement in forgery, fraud, conspiracy to defraud the government, money laundering and terrorism financing among many other charges, which, according to the prosecution, resulted in the loss of $14 million and SSP 30 million from the president’s office.
They were detained, investigated for over a year before being charged in court on 22 February 2016, tried for four months, sentenced and convicted to life imprisonment on 13 June 2016.
Last month, the families of four Kenyans jailed in South Sudan held a vigil in the capital, Nairobi to demand their release. The event took place at Intercontinental hotel where the South Sudanese president, Salva Kiir was at the time residing ahead of the heads of states summit, held in the Kenyan capital.
On 29, March 2015, the four Kenyans working in South Sudan were arrested for alleged involvement in corruption at South Sudan’s presidency, tried without lawyers and sentenced to 72 years in jail. The four, who worked at Click Technologies Ltd, included Boniface Chuma, Ravi Ghaghda, Antony Keya and Anthony Mwadime.
Their families said the process that led to arrests, detention, trial and eventual sentencing of the four Kenyans fell short of internationally-accepted principals of a fair hearing.