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 Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs