By Staff Writer
Dec 14, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— Legal Watch Associate’s report had revealed chilling details of illegal and unlawful monitoring of phone communications in South Sudan. National Security Services operative Napoleon Adok Gai appeared in person before the high Court Judge after his request to have his face cover with mask in order to hide his identity was rejected by the court. Napoleon testified during the trial of the 16 accused people as prosecution witness number 24 on 4th May 2016 to play phones recording that implicated accused number 8 Kur Ayuen Kou in the criminal proceedings, the report said.
Other phone recordings that he played include phone conversation between John Agou and his wife Anyieth Chaat Paul as well as conversation with one Andrew Awilly, a Kenyan national working with CFC Stanbic bank in Kenya, the report says. He also has in his custody phone recordings of John Agou with his lawyer in Kenya, house maid, Agou’s son school head teacher and other friends that he had contacts with. Napoleon claims that he has more than 100 audio voice recordings regarding the case, the report noted.
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During cross examination by the defense lawyers to verify if those phone conversations were done legally and lawfully, he told the court that he was not authorised by the Director General of General Intelligence Bureau Gen. Thomas Duoth Guet, either in writing or verbally to intercept telephone communication of Mr. Kur Ayuen Kou. In his statement, he further confirmed he received no court order to intercept the same communication rather he did it on his own personal accord and that he does not know if the phone recordings have relevancy to the case.
Speaking to Sudan Tribune from Nairobi, Kenya, one of the lawyers who was representing the accused people says such evidence of illegal phone recordings should have not been admitted in the first place as prosecution evidence citing the case of Pagan Amun and others Vs Republic of South Sudan 2014. The prosecution by then presented the phone conversation between Gen. Oyai Deng Ajak and H.E. Taban Deng Gai, the First Vice President of the Republic as evidence to proved the alleged couple attempt during the outbreak of conflict in 2013. But the court dismissed those phone conversations as illegal and a violation of individual’s privacy because of the way the phone recordings were obtained. He went on to quote article 22 of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan which stated that “The privacy of all persons shall be inviolable; no person shall be subjected to interference with his or her private life, family, home or correspondence, save in accordance with the law”.
The learned lawyer says that after the phone conversations were not admitted as evidence and there were no other evidence for the prosecution to rely on, the case collapsed and was dismissed all together, he lamented.
National Security Service has been monitoring phone communications of citizens with descending voices, political leaders, opposition MPs and Civil Society activist in complete contravention of article 22 of the constitution which is quoted above. What is shocking in this particular case is the extent NSS surveillance program has extended to neighbouring countries to monitor citizens of other countries with complete disregard to jurisdiction and sovereignty of the Republic of Kenya.