AFRICAN REVIEW, JUN/13/2016;
South Sudan High Court Monday sentenced at least 16 government officials to life in prison for embezzling public funds.
The officials reportedly occasioned the loss of more than $14 million from the Office of the President.
Those jailed are former employees at the State High Office of President Salva Kiir.
Corruption scandals: The Juba court was presided by High Court judge, Lado Erminio, who passed the life imprisonment sentence on the 16 government officials.
Their names and positions are:
1- John Agou Wuoi, Security officer; according to the investigator, Agou used his position at the Office of the President and his Click Company to receive 14 million US dollars and 30,994,832 SSP to Kenyan account operated by his wife;
2- Anyieth Chaat Paul,
3- Yel Luol, Pres. Kiir’s Chief Office Administrator
4- Chaat Paul, Director of communications
5- Mayen Wol, Pres. Kiir’s Executive Office Director
6- Diing Ajieng,
7- Nhumot Agot, Controller of Accounts
8- Ana Kalisto, Accountant, office of the president
9- Kur Ayuen,
10- Garang Aguer,
11- Francis Yata, Employee in ministry of finance
12- Anyang Majok Ayuen, Cashier at Central Bank
13- Anthony Madimo,
14- Anthony Dia,
15- Raphini Jadada and
These sentenced officials were found to have stolen the money in a coordinated process.
President Kiir in June 2015 issued administrative orders suspending the executive director in his office, Mayen Wol and Yel Luol, chief administrator, who were until Monday sentenced to spend the rest of their lives behind bars.
‘‘The accused [persons] abused their power and misuse their positions and violated financial rules and regulations by committing breach of trust,” said prosecutor Achuil, reading from a charge sheet before high court judges in Juba.
“The prosecutor also proved to honorable court that the above financial documents have been endorsed and signed by the accused, Yel, the executive director in the Office of the President, with the consent of the accused, Mayen, the Chief Administer in the same office,” he further said.
According to the prosecutor, the repeated fraudulence led to the stealing of over 14 million US dollars in the name of the president.
Another amount of 30 million South Sudanese pounds (SSP), roughly equivalent to 8 million US dollars of the official exchange rate at the time, was also stolen in the name of President Kiir with the knowledge of the lead suspects, Yel and Mayen, helped by 14 other officials from the Office of the President, the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
“Furthermore the prosecutor will also call the witnesses who will testify that the directive and signatures found in the financial forms have been audited by the auditors were used by the accused Yel,” the prosecutor said.
South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, has been struggling with major corruption scandals since it seceded from Sudan in 2011.
(More details to follow)