Accessibility links

Breaking News

South Sudan Pardons High-Profile Prisoners

FILE - Kerbino Wol, a businessman, and Peter Biar Ajak, the South Sudan country director for the London School of Economics International Growth Centre based in Britain, sit inside the courtroom in Juba, South Sudan, March 21, 2019.

Lawyers say South Sudan pardoned dozens of prisoners Thursday, including prominent academic Peter Biar Ajak and Kerbino Wol, a South Sudanese businessman who has been in prison since April 2018.

That pardon was announced on state media in a presidential decree Thursday evening.

Ajak Mayol Bior, who was the lead counsel for Wol, said they expect the prisoners to be released "as soon as tomorrow."

"This pardon now legally will translate itself that all the other legal proceedings that were happening should stop," Mayol said.

Ajak's wife, Nyathon Hoth Mai, took to Twitter to announce the news.

Monyluak Alor, who represents Ajak, said the team is pleased with the decision, which comes after months of imprisonment for his client. Ajak was arrested at Juba International Airport in late July 2018. In June, a high court sentenced him to two years in prison on charges of disturbing the peace following a riot at the prison known as Blue House.

The same court sentenced Wol to 13 years in prison for his role in the October 2018 uprising in the Blue House.

Both men were brought to court in March to face charges of terrorism, sabotage and treason.