By Tereza Jeremiah Chuei
The court hearing of former Governor of Northern Bahr el Gazal State, Kuel Aguer Kuel has taken a dark twist as the jury ruled for a close door session shutting out the public and the family of the accused. This new twist of events came yesterday when the presiding judge said the case has been changed from open court to close court by the Special High Court.
The decision came as a response to Government defense Lawyers request for the next court session to be conducted in camera and public not allowed.
The reason given for closed court was in line with the official from National Communication Authority who is expected to appear before court in the next session to give his testimony.
Speaking to the media, Kuel Aguer’s Defense lawyer Kiir Deng argued that there was no good reason to conduct the trail in camera, though the court has already over ruled the case.
“There is no justification as to why the court could be held in camera, but the court agree with the other party … “so we have no option but to except and we proceed” the defense lawyer said.
The next session is going to deny the public to know about what is going to be during the forthcoming two sessions, and this case is where the public interest is involved according to the defense lawyer.
Deng said it was their wish that the court allows the process to be conducted in an open court, but those hopes have been dashed off.
The defense lawyer however revealed that the close-door session will only be conducted twice within two days and the proceedings will be changed back to open court.
Meanwhile, the head of the government legal defense team stated that, they have finished the part of prosecution witness who is the CID police intelligent who presented the case to court.
On 10th and 11th November the court will be expected to have a national expert who is the official from national communication authority to give his testimony according to the websites and sources, cited as some of the evidences.
The Jury handling the special high court case include; judge Douth Kulang Bichiok, Obac Dengyony Anyong and Someya Salieh.
Kuel is being charged of five offences against the State, including subverting constitutional government, insurgency, banditry, sabotage, or terrorism and causing disaffection among defense forces.
The evidence submitted by the prosecution board to court included online publications, post-video, audio, recorded testimony, expert opinion, impounded exhibits and digital evidence, as well as websites, declarations and distributed circular.
The accused Kuel was arrested on 2nd of August 2021 for Co-Founding the People’s Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA), a civil movement that called for peaceful protests across the country on August 30th 2021, to force the Transitional government to step down.
Among the accused group were Abraham Awolich, Rajab Mohandis, Wani Michael, Jame David Kolok, Manas Mathiang and Daniel Makau.
The six members are being tried in their absentia with only Kuel Aguer that continued to appear before the court.