News / Africa

Prosecution Claims Four South Sudanese Plotted to Topple Kiir

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 US 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 D'Agot Atem, former envoy of Southern Sudan government to the US Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, in court.
Philip Aleu
The treason trial of four officials from South Sudan's ruling SPLM party continued in Juba Friday with a third prosecution witness testifying that the accused were part of a plot in December to overthrow the government.

Thomas Duoth, director general of external security, told the special court that he has solid evidence that the four men on trial were part of a plan to seize power in a coup on December 15.

Duoth said that two of the accused -- former deputy defense minister Majok D'Agot Atem and former security minister Oyay Deng Ajak -- told him they wanted to force President Salva Kiir out of the SPLM chairmanship.

Kiir has said that clashes that erupted in Juba in mid-December were an attempted coup led by his former deputy, Riek Machar. The violence quickly spread around South Sudan, claiming thousands of lives and displacing close to one million people.

Machar and two others accused of leading the alleged coup bid -- Alfred Lado Gore and Taban Deng Gai -- either fled the country or went into hiding when the troubles erupted in Juba.

Eleven other members of the SPLM, including the four on trial, were arrested in December. Under pressure from the international community, seven of the detainees were released in January to the custody of the authorities in Kenya. On Friday, they  were in the Ethiopian capital, taking part in slow-moving peace talks for South Sudan.

Two more prosecution witnesses were due to testify at the four detainees' trial before the defense takes the stand.

Lead defense attorney Monyluak Alor said his team will also present witnesses to testify on behalf of the four men in court. 

Prosecution lawyers declined to speak to reporters Friday.

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by: Dixon Paul from: Nairobi
March 28, 2014 5:24 AM
Their plot to overthrow an elected president was visible even to an odinary South Sudanese. They are very lacky to be in court and that's why we should have a president like Kirr who forgives even those who do not want democracy to prevail in South Sudan.

by: Mr.President from: s.sudan
March 25, 2014 6:43 AM
We ready to work with man of peace and mindful man like my counterpart Kiir Mayardit.This comment of yours sugguest that u r a rebel supporting the break down of the young nation.

by: Mr.President. from: s.sudan
March 25, 2014 6:00 AM
That the right channel we should treat useless gentleladies.

by: samson kwaje from: juba
March 24, 2014 4:29 PM
This four men who were said to be ploting against the government of kiir this are wrong aligetion against this them so after this four men arrested how things has happen in country

by: kur emma from: juba
March 24, 2014 10:06 AM
Coup forbiden acording un law , but un is quick. They have to be punished to constuention.

by: NGONGI from: Kampala
March 24, 2014 9:04 AM
We youth are waiting for election any Leader who need power must seek underground her no vote in Juba or anywhere.if any want become a Leader.make sure u construct proper road.to see your prommise.

by: Sam Dave from: USA
March 24, 2014 2:23 AM
South Sudanese need to sit down to get the permanent constitutions together. Not one part want to do everything for the country. President please stop killing your civilians. Your name in dinka is river and all of us know what's the river do. Water runs through it. And we use water for many things. You should do good work like that not the bad things, the blood of South Sudanese run through your name. Change your name or otherwise the names of death people will be under your name forever.

by: David from: U.S.A
March 22, 2014 11:45 PM
Torit is right if your term is up other people Could come and lead. All these made up evident will sink our country into heal. These men are innocent. Tell Duoth to work his mind right before testifying.

by: Ohure Torit from: Canada
March 21, 2014 8:56 PM
Forcing Kiir from SPLM Chairmanship is not equivalent to a coup. SPLM is a party and not a government.
In Response

by: Secret Service from: Juba
March 22, 2014 12:24 PM
@Torit,Dont miss understood Leading party and Govt,This is all the same.Party members can decided to bring you down or support their govt.

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