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Main suspect denies being party to Bishop-elect shooting

Suspect Fr. John Mathiang in front-left with defense lawyers in front

By John Agok

The leading one among the six suspects of the landmark case yesterday testified before the Court that, he was not a party to the Bishop-elect shooting.

The suspect Fr. John Mathiang Machol was alleged to have masterminded the shooting of Bishop-elect on 26 April last year in the Diocese of Rumbek. 

The judge clarified charges leveled against accused Priest Fr. Mathiang to have arranged the killing of Bishop-elect, Protest, agitation and hate. These claims were rubbished by accused number one Fr. Mathiang saying that he is not  party to the Bishop-elect shooting.  

“I was awoken by the sound of a gun. I heard a sound calling abuna! abuna! help! Fr. Andrea Osman shouting also, I came out of my room after shooting and rush to the Bishop-elect scene. We took him to the hospital and I called doctors to address his wounds. I also arranged the process to Nairobi and as I returned to Church compound after accompanying Bishop-elect to the airstrip, I found security surrounding the compound. They took Nation Security facility and remained there for twenty days and later brought to Juba after spending two months in Rumbek prison”, he explained.

“With all charges leveled against me, I am not party to what happened and I am wondering my arrest”, he said.

The two other suspects denied charges and claimed being innocent too, the remaining three suspects will testify individually today.

 In 27 April last year, aauthorities in the capital of South Sudan’s Lakes State detained close to two dozen people including police officers and priests on Tuesday, a day after armed assailants shot Bishop-elect Christian Carlassare on the grounds of the Catholic Diocese of Rumbek.

All employees at the diocese offices, including watchmen, have been detained for questioning, said Lakes State police spokesperson Captain Elijah Mabor Makuac.

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