National, News

Families of Pieri plane crash victims frustrated

By Kidega Livingstone/William Madouk


Families of Pieri plane crash victims are left pondering in quest for justice after South Supreme Airline boss, Ayii Duang Ayii appealed against the high court verdict that granted them compensation rights.

Grappling with the pain of losing their loved ones, the families are now facing an additional burden as they contend with Ayii’s position on the incident.

Mr. Ayii had ever expressed discontent with the Juba High Court ruling ordering him to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to the families of the victims.

On Thursday, the South Supreme Airline mogul took the case from an appellate court to the Supreme Court, this has exacerbated their anger.

Advocate and Legal Consultant for the Victim, Nyok Kuol Nyol, said the court hearing was all about following up on the execution of the court ruling because the South Supreme Airline has appealed against the ruling to the Supreme Court, and deleted their appeal to the appellant court.

“Based on the appellant court, we are supposed to have a sitting today (yesterday), but we came and realized that they have appealed to the Supreme Court, and the sitting was pushed to date 29, but they asked the court to give them a grace period of two weeks,” said Advocate Nyok after the court hearing pushed from Malakia to the Supreme Court yesterday.

“Supreme Airlines has taken the court from appeal court to Supreme Court, so we will follow up on the procedures at Supreme Court and its last ladder of the judiciary, and if their decision is out, I don’t think there will be any power to overturn that ruling,” he added.

Nyok said they will be following together with the victims the procedures at the Supreme Court to expedite the case because the families of the victims are affected by the delay of these processes.

Yuanis Yoal Kai, the Pieri Airstrip Manager expressed that as the family of the victims, they were sorry for the court delay, and it is now four years, and the company was found guilty because it was using grounded aircraft that was not airworthy and was cleared out of Kenyan airspace.

“They bring those aircraft and use them to transport our people, but unfortunately, they kill. Now we are demanding the finality of this case,” he said.

He said the court has already ruled in favour of the families of victims, adding that he is not happy with the frequent adjournments.

A Member of Parliament from Jonglei State who lost his wife in the Pieri plane crash, John Kiel Mayuol, said the court case has now reached about four years, and he felt regretful that nobody is taking laws into their own hands.

But he said it appears that in South Sudan, the law is always taken into individual hands by some people, like Ayii. “This is the third appeal,” he noted.

“International or national laws say ‘if a person is dead, it is necessary to be compensated, and we do not call for anything but compensation for our beloved who died in an aircraft accident,” he exclaimed.

“I urge the judicial system that this court case was not supposed to take all this time because we only asked for compensation, but it became clear that South Supreme Airlines is above the law of South Sudan,” he decried.

Mayuol observed that the South Supreme Airline boss has taken the law into his own hands because nothing can affect him.

“Even if you go to the court, he is above the law.”

This week, the Juba high court passed a verdict for the South Supreme Airline to pay $350,000 as compensation for the two pilots who died in plane crash in Pieri crash.



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