Gov’t denies missing Terrain rape documents
By Kitab A Unango
Government has denied knowledge of missing Terrain Hotel rape and murder appeal’s documents which were allegedly sent to the Office of the President after the court martial trial.
On Friday last week, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Legal Action Worldwide released a joint report entitled “South Sudan: Missing file blocks justice for Terrain hotel rape and murder.”
The group had alleged that the Supreme Court was unable to move forward with appeals by the victims and those convicted due to the missing of the case file which has not been seen since it was sent to President in 2018.
They described the act as “outrageous” saying a year after the conviction the parties’ appeals could not be heard because of the missing case file and called on the authorities to ensure there are no deliberate attempts to obstruct justice and locate the file, so the Supreme Court can examine the appeal.
The group in the report called on the government to ensure the victims must get their right to a remedy and as well as the accused their right to a fair trial, including the right to appeal and the right to be tried, or to obtain justice without undue delay, the groups said.
Michael Makuei Lueth, Information Minister who doubles as government Spokesperson denied the government knowledge of the missing documents adding the case was already tried and executed.
“This is my first time to hear of such report of case papers missing. Terrain case was already tried and executed, what do you have to do with the past case again,” Makuei said.
Two years following the 2016 JI fight that led to the murder of a local journalist and five international aid workers raped in Terrain Hotel, ten soldiers were arrested and convicted to various terms in prison and fines by Military Court Marshal.