Bishop-elect of Rumbek Diocese Fr. Christian Carlassare in the hospital after he was shot on both legs/Courtesy Photo
By Adia Jildo
One suspect accused of shooting Bishop-elect of Rumbek Diocese Fr. Christian Carlassare has confessed to committing the act.
Yesterday, the court listened to testimonies from three accused persons in the names of Magok Chol Magok fourth accused, Morris Sebit Ater fifth accused and Laat Makur Ngok the sixth accused.
The first accused John Mathiang, Samuel Maker Mabor second accused and Gabriel Deng Dut third accused testified before court on Monday, all denied any involvement in the shooting of the bishop.
While testifying before the court, the fifth accused, Sebit said they had gone with the sixth accused, Laat to rob money from the bishop.
He denied claims of having connection with John Mathiang in the shooting.
Sebit said he never had any intention in shooting the bishop but wanted money from him.
“26th April 2021 around 12:30 AM, I was the first to enter. Laat was outside the fence. We came to the compound. We were coming through the fence. There was light in the compound and in the room of the white,” he narrated.
He continued, “I knocked the door. The bishop refused to come out. Later after five seconds, the bishop came out. When he came, he refused at the door and refused me to enter. I was trying to go in he refused us to enter”.
He said he faced resistance as the Bishop tried grabbing the gun from him and he shot two bullets on the ground.
Sebit said they later went to the home of Samuel Maker Mabor and found him asleep with his wife and Magok Chol Magok was also asleep in his room.
“I changed my clothes because they were not aware of what we did. I left my cloth at home with the gun up then I left,” Sebit explained before the court. “I was confused by the incident that is why I went and left my clothes and gun in the house of Samuel. We were looking for money because we usually rob people to get money”.
“We never wanted to kill him. We wanted the money,” he said.
Sebit said Laat was outside the fence of the other compound and never had a gun.
According to the exhibits presented before the court, 13 bullets were found in the crime scene. Four were already empty.
When asked by the court, Sebit said he shot two bullets down that hit the legs of the Bishop but denied shooting four bullets.
The sixth accused Laat Makur Agok said they had gone with intention of killing the Bishop as planned by first accused John Mathiang.
“9th April 2021 at 10 A.M. in the morning, Fr. John came to me in the shop, he got me sitting alone, and he told me to go to him if I close my shop at 6 pm. I closed later at 7 pm and went to him,” he said.
He said Fr. John had gone to the home of Morris Sebit Ater the fifth accused the next morning and talked to the wife of Sebit.
Laat later met John Mathiang at the Priest’s compound sited under the tree.
“Did you hear that a white man is being brought? He is going to be the bishop of Rumbek, I asked when. He said I will get a message sent to me. It was the issue that Mariel was talking about going to happen,” he continued narrating.
“On the 19, John came to me at 4:30 PM. He told me that he had gone to my home and did not get me. I told him I was at work place. He asked me whether I had met Sebit, Samuel Maker and another Maker. I told him; I had not met them. He said it was about the previous issue that we talked about. The issue of killing the bishop. I told him that it is ok,” he told the court.
Laat said he met with Sebit on the 16th of April in the morning and would meet later in the evening.
“On the 21st, at 6 pm, I called John Mathiang. I told him I had met Sebit. I asked him, what do you see in this plan? Do you see something?” he asked.
Laat said Fr. John Mathiang called, stating that their communication would not be on the phone and had agreed to meet in the Catholic University at 8:30 PM.
He said he questioned Fr. John of the benefit of the attack.
“If you are afraid of the government, I am responsible for you. I will stand for you. I will communicate”.
He told the court that the gun that Sebit had carried was gotten from Maker Mabor at 12:00 pm on the 25th April 2021.
Sebit and Laat later met in a nursery school that is attached to the wall fence of the priest’s fence.
He said Sebit jumped into the fence of the priest as he remained outside. Sebit kept pushing the door of the bishop until he came outside.
He (Sebit) struggled with the Bishop since he had caught the hand of Sebit.
“Abuna got up faster than Sebit. When Sebit got up, his hand was giving him support from down and one hand held the gun when another bullet was fired and hit him on the legs,’ he explained.
Laat later took the gun from Sebit and told Sebit to run.
“I went to the Abuna and carried him and caught him using my two hands. I saw his body never had any wound apart from the leg. I carried him in his room. I put him near his bed with his legs straight. From there, I got out,” he continued.
He said his phone fell off in the process of jumping out of the fence.
In the night after the mission, Sebit and Laat went to the home of Samuel Maker where Sebit changed into the cloth of Magok Chol Magok.
“I surrendered because in Rumbek you say you did not commit the crime you will be beaten seriously,” he said.
Laat claimed that he was told to say that they had an intention of robbing the Bishop by Sebit and his aunt’s son and should not mention the name of Fr. John Mathiang.
“That’s what I said in the police when my statement was collected. The first and second statements were not my word. I was told to say so,” Laat cited.
Accused number six Magok Chol Magok however stated the reason for his arrest was not clear to him since he was in his house in the night of the incidence and was collected by the national security in the morning.
A pair of trouser, shoes belonging to Morris Sebit Ater was caught in the house of Magok. He said he never had any idea of the incident since he was asleep when they entered his room.
“They got me sleeping at home; Sebit took my cloth and went with it. When it reached in the morning, National Security came and arrested me from home. I have nothing more,” he said.
However, according to investigator, Magok Chol Magok was arrested for conniving with Fr. John Mathiang into the shooting of Bishop.