23rd September 2023
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Court frees 3 minors from 7-month detention over Iphone theft

Author: Michael Daniel | Published: Friday, August 4, 2023

Juba's Juvenile Reformatory Center. (UNMISS)

The Juvenile Court in Juba has ordered the release of three teenagers detained at a reformatory facility for seven months on accusations of stealing an Apple phone, after the complainant failed to show up.

Juvenile Court Judge Abo Al-Qassem Sobek says the theft incident involving an Apple phone happened in November 2022.

Al-Qassem says the three boys aged between 15 and 16 were also accused of engaging in stealing phones from public transport vehicles.

The defendants had been awaiting trial in the reformatory school for the last seven months.

The Public Prosecution first ordered their release on bail.

But the court then decided to free them, due to the long absence of the plaintiff, and the inability of the defendants’ parents to pay for the phone valued at 1,500 dollars

However, Judge Sobek called on the families to observe their children’s behavior.

“The public prosecutor released them on bail, but they failed to pay, which kept them in prison for more than seven months, and following the complainant’s failure to pursue the case, they have been released,” he said.

The defendants were released in accordance with section 124 of South Sudan 2008 criminal procedures.

Judge Al-Qassem further says the judiciary is trying hard to release juvenile offenders.

He said parents and families should work hard to speed up the settlement of cases involving their children.

“Whoever has a child involved in a crime and has been arrested in the police station or reformatory, tries as much as possible to try to release him/her, because the presence of the child in the reformatory without procedures or trial is unfair to him.”

“Therefore, we appeal to the families, even if a financial guarantee is required, to communicate with the prosecutor or the responsible judge in the Child Court and demand his release.”

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