SSPDF officer admits killing 3 Syrians, reveals why

By William Madouk 

​SSPDF officer, Yak Garang Yak, the prime suspect in the killing of four people including three Syrian nationals in Gogrial of Warrap State, has admitted his crimes.

During the court hearing yesterday, the accused said he committed the crime due to low pays, mistreatment, and lack of health insurance.

Private Yak was an employee of a construction firm known as AFK. He was contracted both as a security guard, and a driver. The firm was managed by a Syrian national before he allegedly committed the crime, which he said was due to manipulation by his bosses.

Reading the accused statement before a military court martial in Juba, Andrew Riak Nyok, chief military prosecutor for Public rights said, based on Yak’s tales, he was stopped from work and put under arrest by his direct commander without reasons given.

“I was not given the reasons for suspension or chance to speak or defend myself,” said Nyok who was reading Yak’s statement.

He added that the suspect [Yak] went home and thought over the matter and then came to a conclusion that his manager was the very person who reported him to his commander, Malong Lual.

Nyok stated that, on January 6, the accused Yak said he went to the guest house where his employers were abode, but luckily, he found the gate locked. The following day he went to the construction site where he shot the three people dead, spared one, and a South Sudanese got killed by a stray bullet.

“Yasser! Did I not tell you that it’s your corpse that will be flown back to Syria because you treated us like slaves,” Nyok quoted Yak’s statement before shooting the victims.

Prosecutor Riak also revealed that Yak said the reasons for killing the Syrian nationals was the mistreatment he received at the hands of his employees. He recalled a trip to Wau of Western Bahr el Ghazal State, where he was rented in a grim hotel without services and food.

The Prosecutor said another incident according to Yak was when he was driving his Syrian boss then he saw his wife carrying their sick baby. When he informed his boss about it, the boss didn’t heed to him but was busy with smartphone.

Another occurrence was when he fell sick, he informed his Syrian manager about it. But he (Syrian manager) responded by saying, “why should you disturb me? Are you not lucky? In government you receive SSP2, 500 and here we pay you SSP 30,000.”

Asked by the President of General Military Court Martial, and the Presiding Judge Maj. Gen. Majok Michael Chan whether the statement was true.

“The statement is true,” replied Yak.                             

The Presiding Judge General then adjourned the court to February 17 to give the defense team enough time to continue with the investigation.

The evidence that the prosecution would be seeking to table before the court includes the gun used in the shooting incident, the vehicle that the suspect was arrested in, the two phones recovered from the suspect, and eye-witnesses.

However, Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai said the court will have to prove Yak’s accusation beyond a reasonable doubt even after he admitted to committing the alleged crime.

General Ruai claimed that Yak spoke as a layman and hence could still deny his statement.

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