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

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora