News / Africa

South Sudan Treason Hearing Adjourned Again

In court, left to right: former security minister Oyay Deng Ajak, former SPLM secretary general Pagan Amum, former deputy defense minister Majok Atem, former Southern Sudan envoy to the U.S. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.
In court, left to right: former security minister Oyay Deng Ajak, former SPLM secretary general Pagan Amum, former deputy defense minister Majok Atem, former Southern Sudan envoy to the U.S. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.
Charlton Doki
A panel of  judges in Juba on Tuesday adjourned a special court hearing of South Sudan's case against four political detainees suspected of attempting to overthrow President Salva Kiir's government.

The hearing was adjourned because a key prosecution witness, Interior Minister Aleu Ayieny Aleu, failed to appear in court for the second day running.

Aleu was expected to testify against former SPLM secretary general Pagan Amum, former security minister minister Oyay Deng Ajak, former deputy defense minister Majok Atem, and the former envoy of the semi-autonomous southern Sudan government to the United States, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.

The four accused were detained along with seven other politicians shortly after fighting erupted in Juba on December 15. Kiir has said the fighting was an abortive coup led by former vice president, Riek Machar. All of the accused have denied the charge.
 
The prosecution gave no reason for Aleu’s failure to turn up for the hearing. Lead prosecutor James Mayen asked the court to drop Aleu from the list of state witnesses. 

The five-judge panel granted the request after lead defense counsel Monyluak Alor raised no objections.

On Monday, the judges said Aleu could be arrested if he failed to show up in court. Dropping him from the list of state witnesses would remove the threat of arrest.

The defense asked that testimony given earlier in the case by Aleu be struck from the court records.

“Because there are documents and other evidence that is associated with this witness, and we requested from the court that all evidence brought forth by this witness should be disregarded. So his absence is a good thing for the defense team,”  one of the lawyers of the four accused, Kur Lual, said.

Tuesday's adjournment was the latest delay in the three-week-old hearings. A day after the hearings started, the judges ordered the court adjourned for a week after the prosecution demanded that seven more politicians also stand trial. The seven were detained in December but were released after the signing of a peace agreement in January. 

The prosecution asked for another adjournment when the seven failed to show up in court for the scheduled hearings, but the judges denied the request. They said the four accused had a right to a speedy trial.

The hearings are due to resume on Friday, when the prosecution is expected to call four more witnesses. Defense witnesses are expected to testify next week.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Guidous Loki Benjamin from: south sudan
April 05, 2014 9:24 PM
The prayers of the prosecution attorney for asking the court to bring the other seven suspects for trial is unprocedural according to criminal procedure Act 2008. Mayen have forgotten that the Law cannot allow any foreigner to bail any national citicen. The release of the seven suspect is not according to the Law and their case cannot be heard on their absentia, this is what the Law of the land says. Mayen must read the Law before going to court room, otherwise your prayers will be continually be disregard by the special court. God bless south Sudan. Loki


by: Guidous Loki Benjamin from: South Sudan
April 05, 2014 11:36 AM
The prosecution want to delay the speedy of the case by bringing many prosecution witnesses to the court, all the witnesses brought earlier by James Mayen did not fit the court that there's a treason charges against the four suspect, therefore the prosecution should stop bringing more witnesses, because they will make the cases more more weaker.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid