Lawyer for Terrain hotel attack victims raises questions over verdict delay

“The Terrain Hotel compound was ransacked by South Sudanese troops, who went on to attack foreign aid workers…” Photo: AP

Juba, May 4, 2018 (SSNA) — A South Sudanese lawyer who represent victims of July 2016 Terrain hotel rampage trail said a verdict has been continually delayed by the court, saying he is worried why the process is taking so long.

Phillips Anyang Ngong, the lawyer for the victims, told the Associated Press that the court has not explained to him why the decision is being delayed.

“We have no information for why it’s not moving forward and I’m worried that it’s taking so long,” Phillips said.

The lawyer who represents the soldiers Peter Malual Deng Lual says the delay is a “violation of his clients’ right to a speedy trial.”

The report suggests that the verdict is waiting in the office of South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir.

The accused are South Sudanese soldiers who rapped at least five foreign aid workers and killed journalist John Gatluak in Terrain hotel in July 2016.

A South Sudanese legal expert who declined to be named told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) in Juba that the government is deliberately stalling the verdict because it wants to find ways to make the case goes away without punishing the accused.

“I think Kiir wants the court to come up with a verdict he likes. He is probably looking for ways to first appease outsiders and then later come up with a reason to release the accused, the expert explained. He argues that South Sudan legal system is only good on paper.

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