By Joseph Nhomlaw
Nov 29, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— Legal Watch Associates South Sudan has been following up the alleged case of corruption in the Office of the Pesident. The case involved 16 people from different institutions including Office of the President, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Bank of South Sudan and staff of Click Technologies Ltd.
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The preliminary research we are releasing cover all aspects of the case starting with the arrest and detention, investigation, trial, sentencing and conviction. The research was conducted for over a year since the case started. The methodology of collecting the information included court sessions, one on one interview with the institutions involved and phone interviews. The research found the following short coming in the case;
- The case started as a rumor that $500 million has been stolen from the office of the president and transfer to the account of John Agou in Nairobi, Kenya in favor of Mayen Wol Jong, the Chief Administrator and Yel Luol Koor, the Executive Director. The alleged sum of $500 million were not found during the investigation despite the fact that the intelligent report misled the president to suspend the two senior officials from their positions. After the investigation committee fail to find the alleged sum of $500 million said to have been stolen, the committee shifted to auditing the executive office of the president with out the normal procedures of auditing a classified institution.
- The long arrest and detention of the accused people for over a year was illegal and unlawful. The suspect were not accorded their rights as per the constitution neither were they arraigned in court to be remand by competent court.
- The searches that were conducted at the accused persons’ houses were illegal and unlawful as there was no due process of the law followed. The break in and storming of Click Technologies Ltd with out court search warrant was a direct threat to right of personal property.
- The auditing that became the new bases of the investigation and the case after the failure to find the $500 million as alleged in the intelligence report was not independent, impartial or fair. It did not meet international standard that required that auditors must work without influence from the institution being audit. The auditors that did the auditing were working at the same premiers with the investigation committee and the complainant.
- The seal and signature of the president that is alleged to have been used in the forgery was a mere gimmick by the investigation committee to incriminate the accused people and to make the case stronger in the public domain. There was no single document found bearing the seal and the signature of H.E. the president requesting money from the ministry of finance or central bank.
- One of the accused Athorbei Gaddaffy was not charged in absentia neither was his money amounting to USD $8.6 million and SSP 711,500 were drop from the case and instead were made part of the case by the investigation committee and the prosecution team.
- The goods that the prosecution presented to the court as having not been delivered are still being used in the office of the president upto this hour. The donation from H.E. the president to Greater Lakes States women parliamentarian are denied to have been delivered despite the fact that the contractor Mr. Simon Lupai of Lupain Motors confirming to the court as having delivered the cars and having received his money.
- The trial judge was heavily intimidated and influence by the prosecution to blindly rule in favor of the prosecution. The trial did not meet the constitutional threshold of fair trial. The accused people were not given fair hearing to defense themselves before the law. Defense witnesses were denied access to enter the court room and some were threatened and made to withdraw from testifying. Lawyers were threatened at gun point.
- The trial judge did not administer justice in a fair, independent and impartial manner. He unified the charges during the pre-trial with out distinction between the first accused to the last accused persons.
- The judge confessed to our researcher that he was under innermost pressure to sentence the accused persons without exception and with the most severe conviction in the law.
- The complainant General Paul Nang Majok categorically stated during his cross examination in court that he does not know some of the accused people as he did not open any case against them. he says that he was only ordered to arrest only five people among the 16 accused persons in court and the rest, he did not open any case against them.
- The case is a complete miscarriage of justice and has negatively tainted the image of the country and the office of the president. The same rumors like the one that this case of the 16 people was built is like the recent news article on Sudantribune.com that claims that $280 million has been stolen from the office of the president. Such propaganda does not advance positive interest of the country. People who circulate such rumours must be tracked down, investigated and prosecuted and sent to prison for the rest of their lives.
- For justice to prevail, we calls upon the appeal panel that is reviewing the case to expedite the case and release these people from prison without delay.
Legal Watch Associates South Sudan