Abraham Chol’s defence lines up four witnesses
Abraham Chol’s defence team will present the first witness in a case where the self-proclaimed prophet is accused of abusing the president.
“Hearing to the defense witnesses may take one or two sessions, then the court will reserve the file for the decision” Chol’s lawyer, Deng John Deng told City Review.
The case defence will take to the floor tomorrow, Tuesday, 13, December with four witnesses lined up as they seek to mount a strong defence for his client.
Chol, a controversial preacher, was arrested in July 2021 after ‘prophesying’ that President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar would be bundled out of office by or on that year’s Independence Day (9 July 2021).
The treason charges were later dropped but the court last week indicted him of two new charges- including allegedly abusing the president and showing disrespect to alternative religion.
“We hope the hearings for the defense witnesses will be over soon because my client has been in jail for a long time, and we hope it will be done before Christmas”.
For his part, the head of the prosecution, Counselor Latjor Kueth Jal however, believe that they have water-tight evidence to pin Chol down.
“Then the court will determine the last pleading session where the defense team will present their pleadings to mitigate the sentence, while we, the prosecution panel, will present the reasons for the severity of the sentencee, Then the court will reserve the file for the decision,” Latjor said.
If found guilty of breaching article 76 of the Republic article 202 talks about ‘insulting’ the president and abuse of religion, Chol, 55, could serve up to four years in jail.
“Article 202 talks about the abuse of religion, while Article 76 talks about insulting the president of the Republic, which the court will decide in the next session on the 13th, in which we will bring defense witnesses to refute these charges,” Deng added.
Last week, the Special High Court sitting in Juba exonerated four people – Samuel Mayen, Daniel Malith, David Chan, and James Garang, who were charged alongside Chol citing a lack of evidence.