Court charges Syrians killer with first-decree murder

By William Madouk

An SSPDF solider, Yak Garang Yak who is the prime suspect in the killing of three Syrian nationals and a South Sudanese has been charged with first-degree murder.

The President of general military court martial and presiding Judge Maj. Gen Majok Michael Chan, during the sixth session yesterday read out charges framed against the suspected murderer.  

Military court charged Private Yak under section 83 of SSPDF Act, 2009 read together with section 206 of South Sudan Panel code that cites murder.

It also includes; section 327 of SSPDF Act, 2009 for causing damage to company’s car together with section 67 for defying lawful orders.

The families of the victims were also requested by the martial court to present their views in upcoming court hearing on whether to forgive, ask for compensation or death sentence for the accused.

In the fifth session last week, Yak declared his intention to the killing of 3 Syrians due to mistreatment, health insurance issues and what he termed as ‘enslavement’. But, said one local killed by stray bullet was not a target.

Private Yak also exposed 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 Private Yak defied his immediate commander’s order, adding after charges were read Yak admitted his mistakes.

“Private Yak got into a disagreement with his employer, he was ordered by his commander to remain under house arrest, but he disobeyed these orders and went ahead to commit the crime,” Ruai said in the after session.

“After those three charges were read against him, he was asked by the president of the general martial court if he was guilty or not. [In which] he pleaded guilty,” he added.

Yak’s defense team, however tried to fight back the charges against their client but due to lack of significant proof the martial court dismissed it.

Secondly, the court rejected argument by defense team who wanted the prime suspect to be taken for medical examination citing that he is not in his right mind, but court said there is nothing that shows he wasn’t stable mentally.

The next session is set for March 3 where charges against the accused will be read to him before a final verdict is passed.

“When we come back the charges against the accused will be read once again and the final court verdict will be announced against PVT Yak, after the verdict is read the court will enter into argument, the defense and prosecution team will give their opportunity then the final verdict,” Ruai noted.

Section 206 of the panel code says whoever causes the death of another person commits the offense of murder, and upon conviction shall be sentenced to death or to life imprisonment.

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