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JUBA - 4 Mar 2021

Juba: Sherikat court case adjourned for third time

The trial of suspects accused of killing civilians during last year’s Sherikat incident has been adjourned again for the third time after several defendants failed to appear before the court.

The court hearing was scheduled to take place in Juba today after it was adjourned on Monday when security failed to bring all the accused before the court. 23 defendants were to appear before the court.

The court was to uphold charges and listen to findings of investigations into the June incident where at least six people were killed in Juba’s Sherikat neighbourhood when an army officer identified as a distant relative of President Salva Kiir allowed his soldiers to shoot civilians.

The prime suspect, Lual Akook Wol Kiir ordered the shooting of civilians after wrangles over a disputed piece of land in Sherikat. Lual Akook was also killed during the fighting.

The presiding judge Duoth Kulang said the hearing has been adjourned to March 10th when all the accused are brought before the court.

"Firstly, the court has decided to adjourn the proceeding today. Secondly, the defense team for Group A together with the military intelligence and the joint court police have to bring the accused from 1 to 7 and their guns and put them in the Juba Central Prison," Kulang announced.

"Thirdly, the court requests the Director of External Security Bureau to immediately arrest the accused number four from Group B, Majier Abdallah, through the joint court police and then put him in the Juba Central Prison. Fourthly, the court informs the army chief of staff that the accused, Garang Akook had been arrested and is now in the Juba Central Prison to facilitate court proceedings against him. Fifthly, the court orders the arrest of 13 accused from Group B,” he added.

Ariik Riing, a lawyer, said: "The session has been adjourned for the third time now. The main reason for the adjournment is that the 13 defendants who were released on bail before the court proceedings began have not appeared before the court."