Cover Story

Supreme Court acquits six, sentences ten in presidency corruption case

By Jale Richard

The Supreme Court yesterday acquitted six accused of corruption in the Office of the President, and sentenced ten in prison for different years based on the degree of their convictions.

In June 2016, the sixteen were sentenced to life imprisonment after they were found guilty of causing the loss of over $14 million and 30 million South Sudanese pounds in 2015, but the defense appealed the verdict.

The acquitted are Anyieth Chaat Paul, Mayen Wol Jong, Nhomout Ageth Cithiik, Garang Aguer Akok, Chaat Paul Nul, and Anyang Majok Ayuen.

Justice John Gatwech Lul, deputy Chief Justice and President of the panel said the six were acquitted because they were found innocent.

The sentenced include John Agau Wuoi, who is sentenced to fourteen years in prison for being guilty of four different charges. He will serve the charges totaling to fourteen years concurrently.

He has been ordered to pay 2, 278,376 U.S dollars and 14, 283,331 SSP for compensation for causing loss to public money.

Yul Luol Koor is convicted and sentenced to nine years in prison from three charges, and ordered to pay back 2,000,000 U.S dollars and SSP 14,000,000 as compensation for the public money illegally acquired by him from the central bank.

Ring Ajing Juuk convicted of two charges and sentenced to the sum of nine years to be served concurrently. He has been ordered to pay 250,000 SSP as fine for defaulting payments.

Anna Kalisto Lado sentenced to four years and to pay a fine of 500,000 SSP while Kur Ayuen Kou is sentenced for three years without fine.

Francis Yata Justin sentenced to four years. He has been ordered to pay back SSP 415,215 US dollars.

Anthony Mwandime, a Kenyan sentenced for nine years on three charges. The sentences will run concurrently.

Anthony Kaya Munyalo another Kenyan also sentenced to nine years on three separate accounts which will run concurrently.

Ravi Ramesh Chaghda also sentenced to nine years on the same charges of his Kenyan colleagues, to be served concurrently.

Boniface Chuma Mwariuki will also serve nine years of three different charges to run concurrently.

The lead defense lawyer, advocate Kiir Chol Deng welcomed the decision for acquitting the six accused, but disagreed the verdict for sentencing the ten.

“I agree with the Supreme Court order to acquit the six suspects. I disagree with the supreme court in its decision to sentence the ten suspects,” he said. “As I read the reading, I reserve my reasons,” Deng said.

He said after reading the 74 pages of the ruling, he will consult his clients to weigh their options for their next move.

He said one of their options is to apply to the Supreme Court to review its decision, or go to the constitutional court. He said he also has options of going to east African court of justice or to apply either to the President or Supreme Court for pardoning.

In April this year, the Court of Appeal squashed the verdict of the high court that sentenced the suspects to life imprisonment.

It ruled that the case be sent back to the high court for retrial, but ordered for the accused he held on remand until a new investigation concludes.

However, the defense lawyers instead appealed the decision, demanding for the release of the accused arguing there is no sufficient evidence to imprison them for life.

Last month, the court granted bail to four of the suspects on medical grounds.

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