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Rape victims to testify in Terrain Hotel case

Author : | Published: Wednesday, July 12, 2017

One of the witnesses, Jesse Onyango, identifying suspects involved in Terrain Hotel attack - July 4, 2017 | Photo | Emmanuel Akile/Eye Radio

Victims of rape during the Terrain Hotel attack in July 2016 are expected to testify before the military
court within 10 days.

The prosecution says two doctors who examined the victims are also expected to appear before the court on the same day.

Their testimonies will be part of the trial of 12 SPLA soldiers accused of looting, rape, and murder at the hotel during the violence in the capital.

At a hearing at the military court in Juba on Tuesday, the prosecution requested for more time to bring the witnesses.

Terrain Hotel which witnessed the reported attack on aid workers during the July fighting – Aug 3, 2016 (Adriane Ohanesian via AP)

The prosecutor said one of the three doctors who examined the victims is currently outside South Sudan and would need more time to facilitate his return to Juba.

They also wanted the victims’ testimonies to be held in a closed session, which the presiding judge, Mayen Jiek, accepted.

Three of the rape victims are expected to testify before the court.

In response to a request for more time by the prosecution team, Judge Mayen Jiek adjourned the sitting until 21 July.

“In the next sitting, we don’t want to hear that one doctor has come and the two others have not. Don’t divide them and say those will come today and the other will come after one week,” he said.

“We want to see all the witnesses in the court because the court is the one to decide on how many witnesses it wants to listen to.”

Terrain Hotel was attacked during the violence between government troops and forces loyal to Dr. Riek Machar in Juba in July last year.

A South Sudanese journalist, John Gatluak, was killed in the attack. The hotel was a home to expatriates, including Americans.

The accused have been in custody for months now. They are accused of committing murder, rape, sexual harassment and robbery. Other charges include the destruction of the hotel and criminal trespass.

During the last trial, the suspects denied all charges put against them.

Related coverage:

Gov’t to probe Terrain rape

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