Witnesses testify in court as trial for the shooting of Rumbek Bishop continues in Juba

Two witnesses have testified in a high court hearing in Juba on Wednesday to give their accounts of event on the night of the attack where Bishop elect of Rumbek Diocese was shot and wounded.

The six suspects accused of planning the attack of Fr. Christian Carlassare in April last year appear for their third consecutive court appearance as the judges continue to hear testimonies from witness.

The two catholic priests of Rumbek Diocese who testified on Wednesday were in the compound on the night of the attack and all came out when they heard gunshots Fr. Andrea Osman Okello and Fr. Luka Dor.

Fr. Andrea Osman Okello told the court that he saw two people holding guns and shooting towards the house of bishop. He described them as one tall person and the other short man and all wearing face covering mask and he can’t recognize any of the two among the suspects in court.

“They start shooting at 12:30 am, I heard the voice of bishop calling for help, I hurried and came out of my bed heading to the door, thinking the shootings will stop. I open the door while shouting asking why are you killing us (Priests)? One of the attackers responded in local language ‘’Nyairot’’ meaning move away”.

Fr. Luka Dor told the court that he immediately calls Fr. John Mathiang on the phone while still in his room as shooting continue but he responded saying “what can he do at this time”, and he remain inside his room. Fr. John Mathiang is among the suspects on trial.

He said only him, and Fr. Andrea came out of their rooms and saw one of the attackers leaning on the wall trying to open fire again, but his gun jams.

‘’When I came close to him, he ran, I came to the door of bishop room, I found him lying on the floor, tears started flowing from my eyes, Father Andrea also came and touched him,calling and the bishop said he is alive. He anointed him with the oil before he was taken to the hospital’’.

Fr. Luka Dor says some of the suspects are blood related to Fr. John Mathiang.

The prosecutor presented exhibits including weapons, ammunitions, clothes, phone, and shoes allegedly found at the crime scene. The court hearing is expected to resume on Friday with two more witness expect to testify and the hearing is open to the public.

Fr. Carlassare was shot and wounded on both legs at his residence in April 26th’ 2021, and was later transferred to Nairobi, Kenya for further treatment.