South Sudan Court Martial sentences two policemen to death by Firing squad

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By Manyang David

South Sudan’s General Court Martial has sentenced to death by firing squad two policemen after finding them guilty of murdering a university lecturer early this year.

The ruling comes after nine months of several court sessions.

Lieutenant General Stephen Babanen, the presiding judge at the General Court Martial reads out the verdict this afternoon in Juba.

“The first accused person, Sergeant John Makur Mabior Dhelbeny (at large), stripped from the rank of Sergeant to private, dismissed from the South Sudan National Police Service active list, he is deprived from being paid post retirement pension or after service gratuity if any, and sentence to death in his absentia and be executed with firing squad when apprehended”, Babanen reads.

The Court also ruled the same punishment to the second accused Private Mathiang Ater Makuei who is said to have contributed to the killing of Bol Chol by providing a transport to John Makur to and from the crime scene.

The police arrested John Makur and Mathiang Ater in February this year in connection with Chol’s murder.

Major General Lul Ruai Koang, Spokesman for the South Sudan Army says, the ruling today shows government commitment to punish men in uniform who choose to take law into their own hands.

“A death sentence is not a simple thing. It will act as a deterrent. We have laws. It doesn’t matter how aggrieved you are, the laws of South Sudan are very crystal clear. Whenever you are wronged, let the legal process take its course”, Koang said.

The accused were detained at the Giada military Police detention facility in Juba and have been appearing before the General Court Martial before John Makur, the prime suspect decided to escape from the detention facility.

Lul says six men are being held for John Makur’s escape while the security forces are on the search to find John Makur who is currently at large.

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