Lawyer opposes court formed by Santino to try SSPDF officer over alleged murder 4 people
Gen Deng Wol formed a special general court-martial on January 17, 2023, to try Yak over the murder of four people.
Yak Garang Yar’s defence lawyer questioned the legality of the special general court martial convened by the SSPDF’s Chief of Defense Forces, Gen Santino Deng, to try the officer.
Francis Loboka demanded the dissolution of the court and argued that a new general court-martial should be formed by President Salva Kiir as required by the law.
Speaking at the first session after the members of special general court-martial (GCM) took oaths at the Military Justice General Court Martial (GCM) in Juba on Monday, Loboka said the defence was vehemently opposed to the court as it lacked the legal threshold to try the client, who is facing murder charges.
“The formation of the current general court-martial refers to an investigation committee and not a general court-martial. A general court-martial is presided over by a president and not a chairman,” he argued.
“This general court-martial is not represented by a judge, advocate, or legal counsel, as required by section 55 of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army Amendment Act 2022, which states that “every general or district court-martial shall be attended by an advocate or a legal counsel appointed by the advocate nominated by the minister of justice and constitutional affairs.”
He further argued that “the formation of a general court-martial where any foreigner is involved shall be convened by the President of the Republic and the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and not by the Chief of Defence Forces—SSPDF.”
“Therefore, the general court-martial shall be dissolved, and a new general court-martial shall be convened by the president of the Republic and the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Super Commander of Other Organized Forces, who shall be represented by either a judge or legal counsel,” he said.
He presented his points of objection in writing to the chairman of the Special General Court Martial, Maj.Gen.Majok Michael Chan, who promised a response in the next session.
The Special General Court Martial adjourned the second session until further notice.
Gen Deng Wol formed a special general court-martial on January 17, 2023, to try Yak over the murder of four people, among them three Syrian contractors working with the C.K.M. Lebanon Company, and one South Sudanese.
The incident happened on January 7, 2023, in Akon, Gogrial West County, and Warrap State.