Cover Story

Tribunal Justice delayed is justice denied

James Kiir Thuch is sad about the way his case is being treated in the court (Photo by Kitab):

Lawyer Kiir Chol Deng ( Juba Monitor file photo)

 

By Kitab A Unango

The man has been cruised in the corridors of court of justice for the last seven years seeking compensation for merely 26, 954 South Sudanese Pounds then translating to about 9,000 US dollar at the current rate, the amount is less than 100 USD.

This is the story of James Kiir Thuch who said justice delayed is justice denied.

The tabulation of the case came into being in 2012 when his then employer, the chairman of Nation Dit Company, Lawyer Kiir Chol Deng suddenly terminated his service. He later went to court to demand for benefits.

The lawyer implicated in the saga denied involvement in the case and referred to that as a claim aimed at assassinating his reputation.

“I don’t have any case with James Kiir. He is just trying to assassinate my reputation,” Lawyer Kiir Chol told Juba Monitor in an interview last week. At one point the lawyer told Juba Monitor that, “you should be careful how you handle the matter which is before the court to ensure it did not prejudice the proceedings.”

Lawyer Deng also said his alleged accuser; James Kiir should provide documents to prove he had a case with him in the court. James produces bundles of documents, most of which are in Arabic and English from courts and lawyers who were initially involved in the case. He also narrated how the case unfolded, countering claims of his former employer, Deng.

According to a relative privy to the case who is related to both James Kiir and Lawyer Deng, the case had taken more than six years. The witness preferred to remain anonymous due to sensitivity of the case. Both James and lawyer Deng are said to be close relatives.

“That is a long case since 2012 and I talked to them especially James Kiir to leave the case even though he has the right but he did not,” the witness said.

In copies of letters Juba Monitor obtained, James Kiir Thuch was terminated in January 1st, 2012 by Kiir Chol Deng.

When James Kiir complained to the Ministry of Labour about the case, the labour office ordered Deng to pay him 26,934 SSP in a letter No: MOLPS&HRD/CES/50.N.4/1 dated 11-06- 2012.

The case was transferred to Juba County Court for settlement by Evay Anthony, The Director of Labour Central Equatoria State on June 27th, 2012.

Juba County Court ruled the case in favor of James Kiir Thuch and ordered Deng  to pay him 26, 934 SSP.

On September 21st, 2016, an arrest warrant was issued against Kiir Chol Deng for non-compliance with the order.

Deng appealed the ruling which the justice Court of Appeal dismissed in a letter dated December 13th, 2016 signed by Bol Lul Wang.

Another arrest warrant was issued against Deng by the court for non-compliance on 17th/February/2017. On February 23rd, 2017 Deng remitted 26, 034 SSP to the court.

However, James Kiir Thuch appealed for evaluation of the money arguing that the money had already lost its value at the time of remittance.

He added that he incurred expenses which raised the money from 26, 934 SSP to 31, 934 SSP which Lawyer Deng was supposed to pay him.

The lawyer according to documents seen by the Juba Monitor appealed the case three times. A move which his accuser, James referred to as “delay tactics” to beat justice.

“Since the start of the case in 2012 the lawyer used several tactics to suppress the ruling through appealing and bribing,” James claimed.

James revealed that he had appealed to the Court of Appeal on July 18th, 2017 to evaluate the money according to the current rate of dollars but did not get any response up to date.

“I was to get around 10,825 USD by then if he had paid the money. But now the money has lost its value who is responsible for that and my expenses I incurred in pursuing the cause of justice?” he asked.

“ All l want is for the court to have mercy and evaluate the value of the money to be paid to me at the then rate and what is in the market now including expenses and time it has taken,” James said, adding that all he wanted was justice to be applied equally without discrimination. Efforts to get comment from the Chief Justice proved futile as at one point he was said to be attending to medication and one of the officials cautioned Juba Monitor to desist from publishing the story. “You have taken the role of investigators instead of being journalists. If you publish what I am telling you then to be ready to meet the consequences.” He did not elaborate what he meant by meeting the consequences.

Lawyer Kiir Chol Deng is one of the senior legal practitioners in the country who is in the lead of seeking justice against the government for alleged violation of some components of laws. He has taken the case to the East African Court of Justice where the Minister of Justice, the Acting Secretary General of the ruling party SPLM and the Chief Justice are listed as respondents. The case is yet to be determined

 

 

 

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