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Aweil court finds activist guilty of defamation

Author: Michael Daniel | Published: Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Samuel Garang Dut, activist | Credit | Facebook

A court in Aweil has sentenced an activist to eight months in prison for making false statements against Northern Bahr el Ghazal State governor.

Garang Mangok, the presiding judge, found Samuel Garang Dut guilty of libel and slander.

He was also ordered to pay a fine of two million South Sudanese Pounds to Tong Aken.

Garang was taken to court this year by Governor Tong after the activist took pictures of a modern building constructed in Juba and claimed it belonged to Governor Aken.

Garang wondered on social media how Governor Aken “could build such an expensive house while people of the state are suffering from hunger”.

He further accused the governor of mismanagement, inconsistencies, lack of transparency and accountability.

Governor Aken, through the state prosecutor, described Garang’s actions as defamation.

Since after being released on bail, he had been attending several court sessions until Monday when the state high court announced the verdict.

Madut Santino Deng, defense lawyer of the activist, confirmed the court ruling, but said he would appeal against it.

“This is the only way, I am ready to appeal, starting from today,” Santino told Eye Radio via telephone from Aweil town on Monday.

The South Sudan Penal Code 2009 states that whoever, by words either spoken…makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person, intending to harm or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm the reputation of such person, is said, save as hereinafter excepted, to defame that person.

It stipulates that whoever defames another person commits an offence and upon conviction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or with a fine or with both.

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