Pag’an Amum trial to start on Monday

pagan_amum-54579SPLM secretary General, Pagan Amum will face treason charges for an alleged “coup” attempt in Dec 2013.(Photo IRIN)

March 9, 2014 (RT) — The government of South Sudan disclosed that four political prisoners will be tried starting Monday in Juba, among them former SPLM Secretary-General Pag’an Amum Okiech.

Amum together with three other detainees is accused of masterminding a coup plot to overthrow President Salva Kiir and instate Riek Machar in his place.

South Sudan’s ministry of information disclosed the four will face treason charges, noting that the commission of inquiry headed by the justice minister had already presented its findings to the president.

The ministry further emphasized the right of the accused to defend themselves, noting the trial will begin at 9:00 in the morning.

Amum’s release has been demanded by the Machar faction at talks in Addis Ababa. The opposition negotiators wished to make him head of their delegation. The other detainees are Majak D’Agoot, Oyai Deng Ajak and Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.

These four are all from Upper Nile and Jonglei states. Okiech, a Shilluk, was the government’s chief interlocutor with Sudan in 2011-2012; D’Agoot, a Dinka, was deputy minister of defense; Oyai, also Shilluk, served as army chief of staff under Garang; and Gatkuoth, a Nuer, represented the government in Washington, DC.

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