Home | News    Tuesday 13 February 2018

South Sudan court sentences Machar’s spokesperson to death


February 12, 2018 (JUBA) - A South Sudan court has sentenced to death by hanging James Gatdet Dak, the spokesman of the rebel leader Riek Machar, citing multiple provisions in the constitution as the basis upon which the verdict was reached.

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James Gatdet Dak, Riek Machar’s spokesperson ’Reuters photo)

Dak was facing several charges including treason charges. The special court announced the verdict sentencing him to death by hanging on Monday morning.

The lead-defence lawyer Monyluak Alor Kuol described the verdict as a political decision.

“You know we pulled out last time from this process because we realized the whole thing was political. And because it was a political case, we thought it was to be addressed through a political process like the peace which is being revitalized in Addis Ababa, which called for the release of political detainees because the charges are not criminal charges in nature,” Kuol told Sudan Tribune on Mondy.

“Unfortunately we told today that the court has announced the verdict and we hear that James is sentenced to death by hang. In another verdict, we hear he is sentenced to life in prison and there is a sentence talking of 20 years in prison. You really don’t know the bases. We are going to study the case when it is brought to us again by the family. This is what I know,” explained Kuol.

The verdict sentenced him for allegedly inciting violence which falls under treason charges according to article 64, disseminating false information to the detriment of South Sudanese national security under article 75 and insulting the president under article 76 under the South Sudanese penal code of 2008.

High court judge Ladu Armenio read out the three charges allegedly violated by Dak. He said his relatives have the right to hire a lawyer to appeal against the court ruling within 15 days.

On 3 November 2016, the Kenyan authorities deported the spokesperson of armed opposition leader, Riek Machar from Nairobi to Juba because he praised a UN report denouncing the failure of UNMISS to protect civilians in Juba.

The rebel spokesperson also applauded the then UN chief Ban Ki-moon who requested the replacement of UNMISS Force Commander Lt. Gen. Johnson Mogoa Kimani who himself is a Kenyan citizen.


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  • 12 February 2018 20:46, by Games

    Dinka Court must reverse this immoral act immediately otherwise there will be going to be more deaths in few days or weeks coming.

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    • 13 February 2018 00:14, by The Rhino


      If at all anybody should be hanged,then its primitive Kiir,the entire worthless tribal JCE and the likes of that troll called "South South" for treason and selling out of our country South Sudan to the Bantus.What we are witnessing here is just another Dinka’s nonsense!Any sound mind would suggest that this was a pure,politically motivated verdict.These Dinka morons can’t stop committing..

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      • 13 February 2018 00:28, by The Rhino

        ...one mistake after the other.I always say,to fight these bastards you must go in with full force.July 2016 was the best opportunity to change the game.It might have looked like a coup,but damn it who cares?After all the population would have been saved!

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      • 13 February 2018 06:51, by jubaone

        1. Gatdet will NOT be hanged, for sure bcoz none has been hanged b4 and SS signed a moratorium on capital punishment.
        2. It is only symbolic and the message is to IO. Kiirminal is NOT interested in the peace talks and is giving IO a signal.
        3. It is a slap especially to Nuer leadership that the jienges can kill thousands of Nuers and nothing happens, who is Gatdet afterall?

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        • 13 February 2018 06:55, by jubaone

          4.The timing of this death sentence is here important. Kiirminal wants to renege from the peace talks and he has shown that by attacking IO oppositions 2-days ago in Akobo.
          5. The Nuer nyagateen are a confused lot and none can help them. Their disorder is the reason jienges act with impunity. What if nyagat Taban asserted his FVP position and told Kiirminal to stop, wouldn´t that happen?

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        • 13 February 2018 06:56, by jubaone

          4.The timing of this death sentence is here important. Kiirminal wants to renege from the peace talks and he has shown that by attacking IO oppositions 2-days ago in Akobo.
          5. The Nuer nyagateen are a confused lot and none can help them. Their disorder is the reason jienges act with impunity. What if nyagat Taban asserted his FVP position and told Kiirminal to stop, wouldn´t that happen?

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    • 13 February 2018 04:58, by Jubaa5

      Those juges have no salaries for 8 months they are hungrey ,and how can you expect them to give a fair trial? All of them are from Dinka tribe.
      Yauyau was a killer and he was promoted to governor and when you express your freedom of speach you will be sentenced to death!! Deng Gai is killing his nuer tribe and he is promoted to first vice president!! Kiir will loose every things when he lost power

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    • 13 February 2018 13:21, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

      I told you before that James Gatdat Dak, Might save death sentence, and Maburuk to James Gatdat,

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  • 12 February 2018 21:25, by Kaya-Man

    Sentencing Gadet is a TEMPORARY SOLUTION TO A PERMANENT PROBLEM. Talk of treasonable acts, the entire Political and Military elite in South Sudan will all be dead if not on death row for treason. Economic crimes committed transcend treasonable charges. A whole cabinet responsible for the demise of a nation. Common sense shows that Gadet is NOT GUILTY AT ALL if the country allows freedom of speech.

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    • 13 February 2018 01:19, by john akeen

      what freedom of speech are you talking about? Freedom of speech has a limit, you can not just come up with some stupid thought and you want to said. Your mouth can get you kill. Riek Machar is in prison because of what he said when he was leaving Khartoum. Don’t run your mouth when you don’t have enough portaction or strong portaction

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  • 12 February 2018 22:48, by john akeen

    Now law & order it’s getting real in our country. I know now James Gatdet Dak now thinking about his children that he is going to leave behind for some stupid shit that he had done, he almost got our leaders killed for what he said in the facebook, not just our president, but his own leader Riek Machar almost got kill. Following Riek Machar will make you leave your children behind

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    • 13 February 2018 03:53, by Mayom2016


      You need to make rational analysis when commenting. Why are you celebrating his death sentence? He is an asset to South Sudan as a nation. Death is eminent so plse celebrate his and urs awaits you. I am tired of your useless support. The tyrannical gov’t in Juba is not delivering anything to the citizens of South Sudan. Give us a break man. You’re not constructive.

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      • 13 February 2018 04:01, by Mayom2016

        I know Mr.President is from your place but he is not delivering. We have problems with other tribes, not bse they don’t like us but bse of Mr.Salva’s poor leadership. Criticism don’t kill but instead shape people so mind your own business.

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        • 13 February 2018 04:58, by john akeen

          you Rebels are talking about y’all want Salva death, and you Rebels are asking for law & order, and you Rebels been asking for accountability. Any criminal must be accountable

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          • 13 February 2018 05:13, by john akeen

            President Kiir wants to take care of the mistakes that happened in between them in a peaceful way, but you Rebels instead that p Salva Kiir doesn’t want peace, you are asking for law enforcement to be in place. I tell you what, I’m not happy about what is going to happen to him, but fixing South Sudan is in all of us hand, stop saying Nuer Nuer Nuer or Dinka, we need to come together

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          • 13 February 2018 05:45, by Mayom2016

            I am neither a rebel nor gov’t supporter.I only need peace and services delivery to our people but I am afraid whether peace will come to South Sudan when people like you think anyone who doesn’t support our tyrannical gov’t policies is a rebel. Seeing things at one angle will not help us achieve sustainable peace. Better arrest and sentence Mr. VP to death by hanging than Mr. Gadet.

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    • 13 February 2018 15:49, by dinkdong

      "Law & order ... getting real" when your uncle Kiir and Riek are getting away with murders. You just don’t know when to stop blindly support Kiir, do you?

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  • 12 February 2018 23:51, by lino

    South Sudanese are playing fire!!! Gadet death is not a solution!!! Else, everyone in South Sudanese is a deadman walking walking!!!

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  • 13 February 2018 01:50, by dinkdong

    I personally don’t see why he was sentenced to death. It is like Riek and Taban would be sentenced to death which they are not.

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  • 13 February 2018 05:27, by Mayendit

    James Gatdet Dak was the one who fuel J1 fighting which took 600 lives innocently. Gatdet calls on generals from Riek’s headquarter Jebal Kujur and told them that, what are you waiting for? He told them that, your leader Riek Machar is going to be arrested by Kiir and immediately, the pro Machar went to J1, demanding to enter inside president compound and this is how fighting started.

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    • 13 February 2018 06:50, by Kenyang ll

      Liar James Gatdet may have "fueled" the war but incompetent coward Pres Salva Kiir created this war in the first place.Those Riek "generals in Jebal Kujur" shouldn’t even be in Juba with weapons in the first place had that insecured President listened to voice of reason and refused to sign that peace. Isn’t same peace they’re going over again? As a judge, who do you really want to hang.

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  • 13 February 2018 05:38, by Mayendit

    This would be a good example for those criminal who caused problems and escape away. Col, Gabriel Lam must be aware, because there will be time to fueling conflict and there will time that, you will be caught up and face law. I do blamed president Salve Kiir Mayardit for letting all these criminals coming and going without beating them up and jailing them for long time.

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    • 13 February 2018 05:54, by Mayom2016

      Mr. Mayenkor

      You have Mr.Lul Ruai in Juba and he used to be a rebel spokesman before his defection. Why not label the same charges against him? My bother educated people like you should refrain from tribalism. Salva is not a Dinka president alone but the whole South Sudan. The old dudes are just spoiling our future.

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      • 13 February 2018 06:08, by Mayendit

        Mayom2016 or Mayom2018.

        Look, you must understand that, South Sudan is a country and there has to be a law to guide the interim constitutional of the land. The law should not view as a tribalism. Lul Ruai Koang was airing things in the bushes unlikely Gatdet’s case when the peace agreement was signed and Riek was in Juba but he was still airing wrong information which fueling fighting in J1.

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        • 13 February 2018 10:02, by Mayom2016

          Mr. Mayendit

          Hehehe. I like your argument. I know we are all for peace so please let stop supporting those old dudes and peace will come. To my own thinking what Gatdet is less than what those of Taban, Yau Yau, Gahoth Gathok and many others. I think the judgment was according to the directives from ......

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  • 13 February 2018 06:23, by Kenyang ll

    A justice that can’t start with Riek Machar, Salva Kiir, ....in that order is mockry.

    I said over warmongers around Kiir are not for peace. Who would want to hang a prisoner of war during the eve of peace talk? What’s peace to them? They can run their mouths day and night but their action is louder.

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  • 13 February 2018 06:43, by Lotodo Awino Odug

    free! free!free!Gadet please! he can’t be the only sacrificial lamb in a land where impunity is the order of the day. YauYau is alive and should have been killed for killing national solders.

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  • 13 February 2018 08:01, by Not your taste

    If at all our judges have waken up to define the word treason, who else in this regime or opposition who flip flops won’t be sentenced to death? Is Gadet the first person who by definition committed treason against the constitution of the republic of South Sudan? Rest His Soul in Peace if he gets his sentence. South Sudan, especially the morons have blown any reasonable mind in the face of earth..

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