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Supreme Court drops charges against priest who was jailed for plotting to kill Rumbek Bishop

The Reverend Father was convicted in 2022 at Juba High Court over conspiracy alongside three others after the shooting of the then bishop-elect, Christian Carlassare of Rumbek Catholic Diocese.

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The South Sudan Supreme Court has on Tuesday acquitted the jailed Reverend Father, John Mathiang Machol of the Catholic Diocese of Rumbek.

Father John Mathiang, who was previously handed a seven-year jail term in April 2022 has finally been released from the prison.


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The Reverend Father was convicted in 2022 at Juba High Court over conspiracy alongside three others after the shooting of the then bishop-elect, Christian Carlassare of Rumbek Catholic Diocese.

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Mathiang Monydhal Majak, a nephew of the convicted priest, confirmed to Talk of Juba the release of his uncle, Fr. Mathiang Machol from the prison.

Mathiang said after the defense lawyer of Fr. Mathiang made the appeal, the case was later reviewed and the court dropped all charges.

The court concluded the ruling on the case of Fr. Mathiang on 15th March 2024, dropped all charges and ordered for his immediate release.

According to Monydhal, the case of John Mathiang was dropped due to insufficient substantial evidence from the previous ruling.

The nephew of the Reverend Father stated that the release of his uncle was delayed due to some court procedural follow-up.

Yes, Father John Mathiang was released on Tuesday, as you remember from the previous ruling, we made an appeal and the case was reviewed and that was when they ruled out that the verdict was not passed fairly and that is why the Supreme Court ordered for his immediate release,” he narrated.

Monydhal stated that he is not sure about the health condition of his Uncle, Father John but they are yet to take him to the hospital for medical checkup.

However, when contacted about information for the release of Father John Mathiang, Father Osman, the Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of Rumbek denied the release of the Reverend Father stating that the Diocese is not aware.

He said, “The Diocese does not have any information about the release of Father John Mathiang.”

Father John Mathiang, a Rumbek Catholic Prelate was released after spending nearly two years in prison while the other three convicts that were sentenced to jail terms in 2022 alongside the Catholic priest are still in prison.

He was convicted together with Moris Sebit Ater, Laat Makur Agok, and Samuel Maker after they were guilty of “participating directly or indirectly” in the attempted assassination of the Bishop.

Justice Alexander Sebur Subek, a judge at the high court in the capital Juba charged Father Mathiang and handed him a seven-year jail term in connection with the attack on the Italian-born member of the Comboni Missionaries, who was shot in both legs on April 26th, 2021,

According to the local media report, during the police preliminary investigation and cross-examination of the lead investigator, Father Mathiang’s phone calls were retrieved and found him guilty of the crime.

Meanwhile Moris Sebit and Laat Makur were sentenced to four years in prison after the evidence before the court showed that they went with ammunition to shoot the bishop at his residence.

Samuel Maker was given a five-year sentence after he was found guilty of keeping two guns that were used for the attempted assassination and providing the assassins with Itel phone for communication, according to media reports.

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