Juba, National, News

High Court stays verdict

By Manas James Okony

Kator High Court in Juba has issued an order suspending a decision by Malakia County court, ordering South Supreme Airlines to compensate plane crash victims.

Family members of eight victims of March 2021, plane crash, that took place at Pieri town in Uror County of Jonglei State had sued South Supreme Airlines, in Malakal, demanding compensation.

The Malakia County Court, in February, found the Airlines Company guilty of negligence under Article 17 of the Montreal Protocol and ordered $ 170,000 compensation to the family of each victim.

However, in a 23rd May stay of the execution order, Kator High Court judge, Nicola Makuach Bol,  asked the Malakia Court to have its decision halted until an appeal by the defendant is heard.

“Stay of execution order” means the Court in Malakia should wait without implementing its decision until the High Court comes out with a decision on the appeal.

However, the plaintiff’s lawyer, Monyluak Alor Kuol, urged the High Court to expedite ruling on the matter so that justice is served.

“Those people have appealed to the High Court in Kator and that does not mean cancellation of our victory.” he noted.

“We are telling our client that nothing has changed and while the Kator Court is considering the decision, we are presenting an argument to approve the decision of the Malakia Court,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Makuei Puok Bai, who represents families of the victims, said they feel justice is denied.

“Months have passed since the court ruled in our favor, but nothing has happened. As a family, we are not happy about the suspension of execution because by now we should have been compensated. Why would this appeal come when we are in the process of compensation?” he asked.

No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper could not easily reach South Supreme Airlines Company lawyers for comment, as no contact was available at the time of press.

On March 2, 2021, the South Supreme Airline light aircraft registration number HK-4274 crashed shortly after takeoff in Pieri, Jonglei State, killing 10 people aboard including two crew members.


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