News / Africa

    South Sudan Treason Trial Resumes

    Defendants (L-R) Oyay Deng Ajak, Pagan Amum, Majok D'Agot Atem, and Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.
    Defendants (L-R) Oyay Deng Ajak, Pagan Amum, Majok D'Agot Atem, and Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.
    Philip Aleu
    The trial of four South Sudanese politicians accused of treason for their role in an alleged coup attempt against President Salva Kiir in December resumed Thursday in Juba.

    The hearing was adjourned last week when prosecutors told the court they wanted seven other politicians, who were released to the custody of Kenyan authorities in January, to return to South Sudan and face trial.

    The seven former detainees have not returned to Juba and were not in court on Thursday. James Mayen, the lead prosecutor, asked the five judges to adjourn the hearing again until they return to South Sudan.

    But presiding judge James Alala ruled that the trial should go ahead. He said another delay would deny the four men who are in court their right to justice.

    Lead defense lawyer Monytuil Alor said he was pleased with the judge's decision.

    "It went our way, in the sense that the prosecution wanted to delay the trial on the grounds that the seven were not brought, and they wanted to wait for the seven. We objected to that vigorously and we asked the court to continue the trial of the four, which the court approved,” he said.

    Mayen declined to speak to reporters at the hearing.

    On Thursday the prosecution called two witnesses, including the commander of the presidential guard, Marial Chanuon.

    He testified that the four politicians in the dock -- former Security Minister Oyay Deng Ajak, former SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum, former Deputy Defense Minister Majok D'Agot Atem, and the former top envoy of the Southern Sudan government in Washington, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth -- were part of a group suspected of instigating the fighting that erupted in Juba on December 15.

    Chanuon said that on the day the fighting began, soldiers ignored his orders and broke into the armory at the headquarters of South Sudan's ground forces to take weapons.

    Chanuon also testified that 76 senior officers and 730 soldiers failed to turn up for morning parade the day after the violence started. They are believed to have rebelled, he said.

    Attorney Alor said the defense will cross-examine the prosecution witnesses on Friday before they present their own case.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Arkangelo kuol from: Warrap
    March 21, 2014 2:15 PM
    Four were being misled by power hungry, RIAK claiming that he is well educated more than nobody in S.Sudan which i can't see,education of killing one own elderly,children and women of the same country let them deserves what were looking for while are the richest of all.

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora