News / Africa

South Sudan Political Detainees' Treason Trial Begins

From left to right, former Security Minister Oyay Deng Ajak, former SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum Okiech, former Deputy Defense Minister Majok D'Agot Atem, and former envoy of the semi-autonomous Southern Sudan government to the U.S., Ezekiel Lol Gatk
From left to right, former Security Minister Oyay Deng Ajak, former SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum Okiech, former Deputy Defense Minister Majok D'Agot Atem, and former envoy of the semi-autonomous Southern Sudan government to the U.S., Ezekiel Lol Gatk
Charlton Doki
The treason trial began Tuesday in Juba of four political detainees accused of attempting to overthrow the government in mid-December.

Heavily armed soldiers and police were deployed inside and outside the packed courthouse in Juba where the trial got under way.

Dressed in suits, the four -- former SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum Okiech, former Security Minister Oyay Deng Ajak, former Deputy Defense Minister Majok D'Agot Atem, and former envoy of the semi autonomous Southern Sudan government to the US, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth -- looked calm as the prosecution outlined the case against them.

The four were among 11 political figures who were taken into custody shortly after fighting erupted in Juba on Dec. 15, in what President Salva Kiir has said was a failed bid to oust him, led by his former deputy, Riek Machar.

James Mayen, the lead prosecutor in the case, told the court he has enough evidence to prove the suspects attempted to overthrow the government. 

In addition to treason, the four are accused of inciting the masses, subverting a constitutional government, insurgency, causing disaffection among the police and the army, publishing or communicating false information and undermining the authority of or insulting the president.

Reporters were allowed in to the packed courtroom in the morning when the treason trial of four South Sudan political detainees began on March 11, 2014, but not in the afternoon.Reporters were allowed in to the packed courtroom in the morning when the treason trial of four South Sudan political detainees began on March 11, 2014, but not in the afternoon.
x
Reporters were allowed in to the packed courtroom in the morning when the treason trial of four South Sudan political detainees began on March 11, 2014, but not in the afternoon.
Reporters were allowed in to the packed courtroom in the morning when the treason trial of four South Sudan political detainees began on March 11, 2014, but not in the afternoon.
Mayen cited as a key piece of evidence to indicate treason had been committed a press release that Machar issued days before violence erupted in Juba in mid-December.

In the release, Machar and other political figures accused Kiir of having dictatorial tendencies and of making decisions without consulting other SPLM officials.

Mayen said he also has an audio recording of a conversation between the suspects on the night violence broke out in Juba, which showed that Machar had ordered soldiers to break into the armory and take back the guns that they had been ordered to hand over.

Mayen said Machar, Taban Deng Gai -- who is the lead negotiator for the anti-government side at peace talks in Addis Ababa -- and Alfred Ladu Gore will be tried when they are apprehended. All three either went into hiding or left South Sudan when the trouble erupted.

Mayen requested that the hearing be closed to the public, citing the sensitivity of the case.

While the morning session was open to journalists, security personnel barred reporters from entering the courtroom during the afternoon session.

You May Like

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sam dave from: USA
March 12, 2014 10:14 PM
My S. Sudan President, my advice to you, i
s that be wise man, otherwise your own dawn country will fall down badly on your watch. I know too much advice, poor judgment, and etc can cause more problems than your poorly politic's crisis on Dec. 15, 2013. On the behalf of the four detainees, released them like the seven detainees that you did send them to Kenya and now they have been taking part in peace process as third party in Addis Ababa.

by: Jacob Gore Samuel from: Juba
March 12, 2014 11:38 AM
If Machar really is talking about development in South Sudan and good governance many years he had been a vice president for 9 years why don't him correct the president before the time. But because he has been taken away from position than started to miss lead the world . What is doing is not commendable us people's of South Sudan our people are in bad conditions because only he want position he will never and ever meet this position instead for he waited right he rush. Yourself is enemy for locking yourself out of the seniority in SPLM party

by: Gatbel pal from: Ethiopia
March 12, 2014 11:21 AM
This 4 detainee made nothing..i think IGAD,AU,and international community made s.sudan as a trade zone why b/c since dec upto now there is no any solution and they let kiir to restore power to kill detainee,daimeed kiir will died soon....

by: Strir from: U .S.A
March 12, 2014 1:22 AM
I think the world should stop the cowboy president from oppressong his people.

by: Deng Koang from: Sewarf
March 12, 2014 12:26 AM
Those people are innecent and they should not be charged with any criminal act. I think did not have any valid reason to trial those individuals ,because know in the world there was no coup, but why the government insist of coup.

by: Justin dm from: Canada
March 11, 2014 4:15 PM
How one would ever know if these folks are guilty or not. Lets not put our wn judgments in this case.
In Response

by: big mouth from: usa
March 19, 2014 4:36 PM
open your eyes so big my friend, we are in different world now than our world before

by: Santino Andrew Bouth from: Addis Ababa_Ethiopia
March 11, 2014 3:42 PM
Those guys are being arest and put them in jail for no reason, just Mr Kiir gov't it feiled to manage this new country, we need him to step down soonly before too late and before no more death! There was no coup in Juba, Kiir want to kill those politician without reason.

by: bang from: USA
March 11, 2014 2:37 PM
These guys are being jailed for false cuop. They didn't done any wrong things.
In Response

by: by central nuer from: Akobo
March 11, 2014 5:34 PM
As we know false it does let us to be purely truly Africa .let you know coup has already attempt by dictatorial mayadit

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs