Six suspects appear in court for an attempted murder of the Catholic bishop in Rumbek

The high court in Juba has started the trial of six people accused of attempted murder to the Catholic Bishop-elect in Rumbek last year. Tuesday’s hearing was adjourned to Wednesday due to insufficient evidence.

Bishop-elect of Rumbek Catholic Diocese Fr. Christian Carlassare was shot and wounded on both legs by a group of armed men who attacked his residence in April last year. Lakes state authorities later arrested the suspects, including the priest of Rumbek, Fr. John Mathiang, who is among those on trials.

Juba High Court judge Alexender Soper Subek cut short the proceedings after the defense lawyers asked the prosecutors to present more evidence showing the accused involvement in the matter. The defense lawyer said the evidence presented, including the audio clips of the victim playing in the courtroom was insufficient.

The Apostolic Nuncio for Kenya and South Sudan, who attended the court hearing , Archbishop Bert Van Megen, told the reporters that the Catholic Church remains confident in the South Sudan judicial system despite the delay.

He points out that the church will continue to commit to reconciliation and forgiveness. “As the state is looking for justice in that we in the church go for reconciliation and forgiveness,” said Megan.

Archbishop Megan says the catholic church follows this court case closely to ensure the perpetrators are held accountable. The Italian Comboni Missionary was appointed as Bishop of Rumbek Diocese on March 8, 2021.