Bishop-elect landmark’s case hearing today

By John Agok

The historic case hearing of the Bishop-elect shooting in the Catholic Diocese of Rumbek is set for today at Juba High Court.

The case was adjourned last week by Judge Alexander Sobor Subek due to a request from defense lawyer Adv. Malith Jok claimed of being felt ill that could not allow him to continue with last witness testimony.

According to other media-intensive reports on the case, the case of the shooting of the Bishop-elect for South Sudan’s Rumbek Diocese was mentioned in court on Wednesday, January 26, and adjourned to next week, multiple sources in the country’s capital city, Juba, confirmed to ACI Africa.

“The case was mentioned in the High Court in Juba earlier today; it was adjourned to next week, February,” a source told ACI Africa in reference to the case of the shooting of Mons. Christian Carlassare in April last year.

In a January 26 report by the Catholic Radio Network (CRN), the case that was adjourned to February 3 involves six suspects.

“Malith Jok ThiangWundit, a defense lawyer of six suspects on the attempted murder, said the first session today, Wednesday was meant for bringing the accused from the security office to Juba Central Prison so that the court hearings can proceed normally,” CRN has reported.

Mons. Carlassare was shot in both legs on April 26 last year. He received initial treatment at the health facility under the auspices of Doctors with Africa CUAMM in Rumbek and later airlifted to Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, where he was admitted at The Nairobi Hospital.In an ACI Africa video recording from his hospital bed on April 27, the member of the Comboni Missionaries (MCCJ) described the shooting as life-threatening but called for reconciliation and “justice with the same heart of God” among the people of God in the Rumbek Diocese.

In June last year, police in South Sudan’s Lakes State arrested the second of “the potential suspects” directly involved in the shooting of the Bishop-elect.

The suspect who was reportedly arrested on 11 June 2021 brought the number of those detained following the April 26 early morning shooting to six individuals, including Fr. John Mathiang who had been at the helm of Rumbek Diocese as Diocesan Coordinator since 27 December 2013. 

Before his Episcopal appointment on 8 March 2021, Mons. Carlassare had ministered in South Sudan’s Malakal Diocese since his arrival in the country in 2005.

His episcopal ordination had been scheduled to take place on Pentecost Sunday, 23 May 2021.

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