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Jonglei court dismisses case against civil society leader

Jonglei court dismisses case against civil society leader
Chairperson of JCSN Bol Deng Bol during a public dialogue on policy and systems in in Bor recently | Credit | Courtesy

Jonglei State High Court has acquitted the chairperson of Civil Society Network in Jonglei of criminal charge that had been labelled against him by the former chairman.

The Case No. 80, 2022 was opened under Penal Code Act 2008 Article 106 by the outgoing leader Garang Goch after he protested the election result and opted for court challenge.

He had accused the newly-elected Chairperson Bol Deng Bol of usurping his position.

On Monday, the president of the high court dismissed the claims and acquitted Bol of the charges.

The court verdict, which was forwarded to Mingkaman FM and signed by Justice John Yel Aleu, says the case was dismissed under section 226/1 of South Sudan Criminal Procedure Act 2008.

Reacting to the ruling, the Secretary General of Jonglei State Civil Society Network, Isaiah Kuch Maluk, says the group is happy with the ruling.

“The ruling is correct, and we have accepted it. We have been accused of being an association of criminals and though we gave defense, it was not a good sign before the public, the NGOs,” Kuch stated.

“Now the court ruling proves that we are not criminals, and we feel free before the public, before the NGOs and even in the world, that is why I say we have accepted this ruling.”

The plaintiff, Garang Goch was contacted several times for a comment, but he did not answer any single call.

According to Civil Society Secretary, there are over 100 civil society organizations across Jonglei State that make up the network. The current chairperson is the executive director of INTREPID South Sudan.

Jonglei Civil Society Network was established in 2013 and stopped operations during the December conflict before members revived it in 2017.