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Bor town mayor claims judiciary interested in bench court

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June 3, 2017 (BOR) - The mayor of Bor town in South Sudan’s Jonglei state, Akim Ajieth has criticized the judiciary over a letter, which calls for the immediate dissolution of the bench court in the state capital.

Ajieth said the letter, written by high court president in the state, Jairo Ajang, violated provisions of the country’s transitional constitution.

He said he acted within his powers and did not violate any law.

“I have not violated any article, what they were actually complaining about was that I should have consulted them before taking any action. Otherwise the powers to dissolution and powers to appoint rest only with the mayor. And it is up to me to consult them or not to consult them,” the mayor told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

He also described the decision he undertook as an “administrative issue” which had nothing to do with the judicial powers in the state.

“What they usually do is to confer powers up on the new members, that means I appoint and they [judiciary] confer judicial powers,” said the mayor,” Ajieth said.

He further said the judiciary had special interest in the bench, having allegedly refused to cooperate on several occasions in the past.

“There was no need to consult this time because in the past I had consulted them but they did not cooperate with us, they were not in good faith, they were delaying. I think they have interest in the bench court. I did not know they had some interest in it,” said Ajieth.

“Judiciary is trying to interfere in our work, they should step backward a little and give us a space to breath”, he further added.

The high court president, in the letter, requested government and public to consider as “null” and “void” the dissolution of the bench court and its newly appointed members.

Ajieth, however, insisted the letter was addressed to the whole world.

“What they [judiciary] have done is totally unbelievable. And this clearly shows that they interest, they have hidden agenda. The way they had written their letter, it was not addressed to me, I was not copied. I don’t know to whom they were writing their letter to, they were just writing it to the air, writing it to everyone who may be concern which is to the whole world. I just assumed that I have not received any letter from them”, said the mayor.

He said the four-year term of members of the bench court expired and many of the cases they had handled are being challenged before the court of appeal in the state.

“Members in the bench court were incompetent, no experience, they had not served before as judges. They fought in the court, they engaged in physical confrontation, which is very unacceptable. That is why we decided to bring in people who are very competent, people who know what to do”, said Ajieth.

(ST)

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