Fr. John denies charges linking him to the murder attempt of Rumbek’s, Bishop-elect

Fr. John Mathiang, accused of having linked to the armed men who shot and wounded the bishop-elect of Rumbek Diocese in April, denied charges connecting him to the attack. He says the church leadership did not coordinate any attack, as some witnesses alleged last week. Fr. Christian Carlassare was shot on both legs at his residence in Rumbek last year.

On Monday, he told the high court in Juba that he welcomed his appointment and organized his reception and could not have done that if he had any bad intention to hurt him.
“I have accepted him, his appointment and I organized his reception in Rumbek and all the congregation witnessed this’’, he said

He also denied the allegations of organizing meetings with the community and the church members to reject bishop appointments.

Fr. John argued that had he been behind the attack of the Bishop, he would not have coordinated the process for his immediate medical evacuation from Rumbek to Juba and sequent transfer to Nairobi, Kenya.

“I requested a flight from Rumbek to Juba. I called Mr. Jonathan from Nairobi, our financial administrator, and I informed him of what had happened, and I asked him to help us charter the flight tomorrow early’’ he continued.

Both the second and the 3rd accused Samuel Maker, and Gabriel Deng said they were sleeping in their houses during the incident.

Maker had been arrested during the investigation revealed he had a connection with accused number six, Laat Kon, alleged to have hosted him in his house.
The court exhibits showed clothes, shoes, and ammunition that were said to have been found in his house. Mr. Maker confirmed to the court that Fr. Matthiang is his maternal uncle.

The third accused, Gabriel Deng, also denied the allegations that led to his arrest, saying he was arrested because he is the driver of Fr. Mathiang.

Deng declared on Friday that he doesn’t need a defense lawyer, and he will defend himself in court.

However, no one among the three suspects who spoke in court on Monday has availed witnesses to verify whether they are telling the truth. The other three suspects are expected to appear in court on Tuesday at 11 am.

The trial on the attempted murder of the bishop-elect of Rumbek Diocese will resume on Tuesday in Juba High Court; this week is on the defendant’s side to respond to the allegations labeled against them by the prosecutors and witnesses who testified last week. You can click here to read more Witness tells court.