15th October 2019
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Biar, Kerbino verdict moves to Court of Appeal

Author: Emmanuel Akile | Published: 4 months ago

File Photo: Kerubino Wol [Left] and Peter Biar during their first appearance at the High Court in Juba

The defense lawyers of businessman, Kerbino Wol and political activist Peter Biar have appealed against the decision of the high court that sentenced their clients to prison.

Two weeks ago, the high court in Juba found the two guilty of violating some sections of the penal court and the national security act.

Kerbino and five others were charged with possession of firearms and sabotage among others.

The other co-accused were given five years each.

Human Rights Watch on Thursday said the high court “did not charge Biar and others for the reasons they were first arrested but over an incident at the national security prison” last year when detainees allegedly took weapons and demobilized prison guards.

The court dropped the treason charges against Peter Biar, but convicted him for “breach of the peace” citing his previous comments on foreign media over the peace agreement.

Biar once called on the government and the opposition to hand over leadership to young South Sudanese on Kenyan television – where he was a regular panelist.

Kerbino was sentenced to 13 years, while Biar was sentenced to 2 years in prison.

Read related story: https://eyeradio.org/juba-court-sentences-biar-kerubino/

Ajak Mayol, who is Kerbino’s defense lawyer told Eye Radio that they on Monday -submitted their appeal against the ruling to the Court of Appeal in Juba.

“The court will have to review as to the procedures that were taken, all the other liberties and the rights that are protected by the constitution -if they were respected,” he said.

Ajak added that they will also seek the intepretation of the court of appeal on the legality and fairness of the sentenced.

“Was it legal? Was it justified? These are the things that they will have to go and look at. I expect the verdict that was passed down to be quashed and these people will be set free,” he added.

For his part, Philip Anyang, the defense lawyer for Peter Biar expressed optimism that his client will be released after this appeal.

“We expect the court to move fast on how this issue will be determined. We are hopeful that the decision of the high court will be overturned, and that the court of appeal goes on record on the rightful procedure that should have taken place at high court and have our client released,” he said.

Mr. Anyang insists that the verdict of the high court violates the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the constitution.

“It never looked into the real issue that transpired at the blue house on that day, and the facts revolving around the whole case,” he said.

The constitution guarantees the rights of individuals to appeal the decisions of the high court through the Courts of Appeal, and the decisions of the Court of Appeal can be appealed against before the Supreme Court.

Others who have been charged are; Dau Guer, Benjamin Gany, James Bol Akech, Simon Dau Makoi and Peter Albino.

All the sentences have been backdated to the day each person was detained.

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