The High Court has acquitted six of the 16 people suspected of stealing millions of dollars in the Office of the President.
The 16 individuals, including four Kenyan nationals, were accused of playing a role in the loss of more than $14 million and 30 million Pounds.
In June 2016, they were sentenced to life in prison. But in April 2017, the Court of Appeal overruled the decision and referred it to the High Court again.
According to a defense lawyer, Kiir Chol, the court based its ruling on “insufficient evidence” against the accused. They are:
Anyang Majok Ayuen
Anyieth Chaat Paul
Chaat Paul and
Nhomuot Agoth Cithiik
According to the court document seen by media, the five men and a woman stand acquitted of all charges.
“They are found innocent and are acquitted of all the charges they were tried and they must be set free immediately,” partly reads the document signed by Justice John Gatwec, Deputy Chief Justice and President of the Panel.
The convicts are John Agou Wuoi, Yel Luol, Francis Yata, Diing Ajiing and Anthony Madimo.
Others are Ana Kalisto, Kur Ayuen, Anthony Dia, Raphini Jadada, and one Lisiuma.
The court has reduced the sentences of the nine of the convicts to nine years in prison; and 13 years for John Agou, whom the court considered the mastermind of the act.
According to the verdict, John Agou, a former National Security officer attached to Kiir’s office:
Is convicted under sections 48/362 of the South Sudan Penal code act 2008 for which is now sentenced to 5 (five)years imprisonment w.e.f (with effect from) the date of his arrest 11th June 2015
Is convicted under sections 48/357 of the same act mentioned above and for which he is now sentenced to four (4) years imprisonment.
Is convicted under sections 48/361 of the same penal code and is hereby for his offence sentenced to another four (4) years imprisonment.
Some of those the court acquitted today were granted medical parole in late August. They include Mayen Wol and Chaat Paul. Anna Kalisto and Yel Luol are also on medical parole.