Treason Suspects To Face Long Sentences

South Sudan’s Justice Minister Paulino Wanawilla says treason suspects would face longer charges if found guilty. [Gurtong]

The 11 suspects including seven released earlier on police bond were to appear in the Supreme Court on Wednesday but the trial has since been postponed to Thursday. “They will face either death punishment (penalty) or 20 year-imprisonment,” said the minister.

These people were detained because they were suspected of being behind the failed coup attempt to over throw the current South Sudanese government led by former Vice president Dr. Reik Machar.

“Those who were released on bail to the Kenya government, we are right now asking Kenya government to return them back to Juba for trial because they are charged with treason and other charges in including conspiracy, incitement of the masses, causing alienation among South Sudan defense forces, defaming the government of South Sudan and depressing the current leadership of SPLM ruling party,” Wanawilla explained.

According to the 2011 transactional constitution, all of the 11 suspects are considered innocent until proved guilty. The 11 suspects are expected to appear before the Supreme Court in Juba on Thursday. The trial of the four remaining detainees including Pagan Amum and the other seven was to resume on Wednesday.

The treason trial that started last week was adjourned to allow the return of seven other senior suspects including former Justice Minister John Luk who were released to the Kenyan government on bail to also appear before the court.

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