News / Africa

South Sudan Drops Case Against Four Accused of Plotting Coup

Left to right: former Security Minister Oyay Deng Ajak, former SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum, former Deputy Defense Minister Majok D'Agot Atem, former envoy of Southern Sudan government to the U.S. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, on their first day in court.
Left to right: former Security Minister Oyay Deng Ajak, former SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum, former Deputy Defense Minister Majok D'Agot Atem, former envoy of Southern Sudan government to the U.S. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, on their first day in court.
Charlton Doki
— The South Sudanese government on Thursday announced it is dropping its case against four politicians who are accused of attempting to oust President Salva Kiir in December.

“The leadership has decided that for the purpose of promotion of dialogue, reconciliation, harmony among the South Sudanese people... that I, as the minister of justice, should use my powers under section 25 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act 2008 to stay the proceedings,” Justice Minister Paulino Wanawila said.

The justice ministry has notified the special court hearing the case of the decision not to continue with proceedings against former SPLM secretary general Pagan Amum, former security minister Oyay Deng Ajak, former deputy defense minister Majok D'Agot Atem, and former envoy for southern Sudan to the United States, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, Wanawila said.

The four, who have been in detention since mid-December, will be freed "probably by tomorrow,” Wanawila said.
 
But, he added, the government intends to proceed with its case against three other former government officials who are leading the ongoing rebellion against Kiir's government. 

The three -- former vice president Riek Machar; former governor of Unity state, Taban Deng Gai; and Alfred Ladu Gore, the former environment minister -- have been accused of masterminding what the government says was a failed coup on Dec. 15 that touched off fighting around the country.

All three are either in hiding or have left South Sudan. If they are apprehended, they could face treason charges.

Asked why the government has decided to drop its case against the four, Wanawila replied, "Public interest demands that this case should not continue.” He did not go into detail.

Lead defense lawyer, Monyluak Alor, has previously described the prosecution’s case as weak.
 
Reporters were allowed in to the packed courtroom in the morning when preliminary hearings began on March 11, 2014for four South Sudanese political detainees accused of involvement in an alleged coup bid.
Reporters were allowed in to the packed courtroom in the morning when preliminary hearings began on March 11, 2014for four South Sudanese political detainees accused of involvement in an alleged coup bid.
During the hearings, which began in March, at least five prosecution witnesses, including Interior Minister Aleu Ayieny Aleu, failed to appear in court to tesify against the suspects.
 
Two other witnesses, Brigadier General Atem Benjamin and the director of military intelligence, Mach Paul Kuol, did take the stand for the prosecution -- but said they had no evidence to implicate the four suspects in the alleged coup bid.

Kuol was relieved of his duties as head of military intelligence on Wednesday. No reason was given for his firing.

You May Like

China Announces Corruption Probe into Senior Ex-Leader

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, being probed for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid