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S. Sudan Supreme Court judge resigns over "interference"

November 14, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s Supreme Court judge, Justice Kukurlopita Marino Pitia has resigned over “lack of judicial independence”.

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South Sudanese judges (photo RSS ministry of Justice)

In a 14 November letter to President Salva Kiir, Pitia also cited lack of independence of judges and justices, security of tenure of the office of the judges and justice, lack of financial independence of the judiciary and poor administration of the judiciary, among others.

"I Kukurlopita Marino Pitia, Justice of the Supreme Court of the judiciary of the Republic of South Sudan, resign from the Supreme Court and the Judiciary of South Sudan effective the date mentioned in accordance with section 62(1) of the Judiciary Act, 2008, Laws of South Sudan," partly reads Pitia’s letter.

According to the judge, independence of the judiciary in the young nation has become a “mockery” and “pasquinade” over the years.

“The judiciary lacks institutional independence, and the independence of judges and justices in performing their judicial function is interfered with and hence the guarantee of the independence of the judiciary by the Constitution and the law is a fallacy,” adds the letter extended to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

The judge faulted the executive for interfering in South Sudan’s judicial matter.

The office of the president has not reacted to Justice Pitia’s resignation letter.

The judge drew attention in April this year, when, as a member of the Supreme Court of Juba, he openly questioned the logic behind the decision to jail four Kenyans convicted of fraud. The four Kenyans, who faced life imprisonment, have since been released together with 12 South Sudanese nationals convicted for allegedly stealing money from the office of the South Sudanese president.

(ST)

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RESIGNATION LETTER OF SUPREME COURT JUDGE