Court to label charges against suspect in Syrians’ killing

By William Madouk 

The General military court martial in Juba is set to pronounce charges against Private Yak Garang Yak, an SSPDF officer who is accused of killing three Syrian nationals including a South Sudanese next week, on February 28. 

The Military court in Giada has been listening to witnesses account, on fourth session- last week Abdul Rahman Hafzi, the brother of the two slain Syrians, said the accused hunted for his sibling after alleged argument.

Yesterday, on fifth session two Egyptians eyewitnesses testified before the court; Ahmed Abdul Razi, 35, who was on crime scene during the fateful day gave the court firsthand information on how Yasser and others were killed.

“He [Yak] took phones and put it on his pocket and killed Yasser who was on his knees before me,” Razi said while shedding-tears.

Razi said after Yak shot Yasser dead, he fled the crime scene to save his life with other workers.

Another Egyptian witness, Mustafa Ali, 43, narrated the event that led to killing  on January 6, between Yak and his boss – late Yasser. Though Ali was not in crime scene he said Yak left that evening annoyed.

Based on testimonies, the prosecution team told the court that evidence point against Yak Garang of being the culprit. Defense team also provided their statement before the accused Yak was given chance to defend himself.

Yak was contracted as a security guard and a driver at a construction firm known as AFK – managed by a Syrian national. He admitted of committing the crime due to manipulation by his employer.

Yak testified that he has intention of killing them due to mistreatment, health insurance issues and what he termed as ‘enslavement’. However, he said the South Sudanese killed alongside the three Syrians was not a primary target.

He further revealed that he had agreed with his boss to increase SSP 20 thousand to sum up his salary to SSP 50 thousand unfortunately it was not fulfilled.

SSPDF spokesperson, Maj-Gen Lul Ruai said now the military court adjourns the sitting to Tuesday next week in order for the court to prepare charges against the accused, Yak Garang Yak.

“The General Court Martial took the floor and adjourn the case to February 28, 2023 and the reason for adjournment is for General Court Martial to go and frame charges against the main suspect,” Ruai said.

“When we reconvene on February 28, 2023, the General Court Martial will read the charges against the accused – the persecution team will be given the opportunity to either oppose or accept and defense team will also have the opportunity to say their position on charges,” he added.

According to Ruai, next Tuesday is going to be a D-Day for justice –justice to the deceases and justice to the accused, adding that court will be very decisive on the matter.

“The sixth session, will be the main determining factor when charges are read against the accused and there are no objections from both teams than the GCM will sit and decide on reading out the verdict,” he stressed.

Ruai added that after passing of the verdict each of the team has 15 days to appeal against the sentence.

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