Court sentences wife killer to life imprisonment in Juba

The High Court in Juba has today (Thursday) sentenced a man who stabbed his wife to death to life in prison. It was after being found guilty of first-degree murder under section 206 of South Sudan’s Penal Code 2008.

While delivering the verdict, Judge Francis Amum Awin found Simon Marial Deng guilty and said there was no substantial defense in the accused’s claim that he committed the offense inadvertently in self-defense.

Marial stabbed his wife, Alakiir Lual Mabior, 27 times after a quarrel at his in-law’s home in Juba’s Lemon Gaba suburb on 11 October 2022. After committing the crime, he fled to Bor town in Jonglei State and later to Guolyar of Awerial County, Lakes State, from where he proceeded to Cueibet County in the same state where he was arrested and brought to Juba and arraigned in Court in April. 

He had claimed that his deceased wife had provoked him after calling him a bastard and a son of a prostitute and that he committed the murder while intoxicated after attending a birthday a day before the murder.

However, Judge Amum found no concrete grounds to support Marial’s defense for committing the crime and sentenced him to serve the remainder of his life in prison effective the date of arrest. The convict was given 14 days to appeal the sentence.

However, Simon Tang, the Marial’s lawyer, expressed dissatisfaction with the court’s verdict and vowed to appeal the ruling.

“Section 6 (d) of the Code of Criminal Procedure says that ‘no punishment shall be inflicted upon any person exceeding that prescribed by the law enforced at the time such an offense was committed,’” Tang said. “We are going to appeal the decision because there are some elements which were not mentioned in the verdict of the court and it was the continuation of the fight. After pulling the knife, the fight continued and they fell on the ground and then that stabbing started on the ground. We did not hear about that and many other things in the judgment.”

“As a lawyer who is giving legal to Marial, I will continue with the case so that justice is served by higher courts,” Tang added.

For his part, Agor Lual Mabior, representative of the victim’s family, also expressed dissatisfaction with the judgment, saying that they were not given the chance to choose between a life sentence, blood compensation, or death by hanging by the law. 

“This judgment is not satisfactory because we were not given a chance to request the court for blood compensation because we were not asked,” he said. “It would have been prudent to seek our views and so we are going to appeal against this judgment.”

Meanwhile, Ajak Abdulkerim, the prosecutor, said the family of the deceased has a right to appeal the verdict.

“The court has ruled but the family is not satisfied with the verdict and as prosecution, we are going to appeal the ruling as the family desires.”

Source: Radio Tamzuj.


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