Catholic Church "watching closely" as Rumbek bishop's attempted murder trial kicks off
The Catholic Church says it is closely monitoring developments in the trial of the six people accused of attempting to murder Rumbek's Catholic Bishop-elect Christian Carlassare.
Fr. Carlassare was shot on both legs by the attackers at his residence in Lakes state’s capital, Rumbek on April 25, 2021. He was later transferred to Nairobi, Kenya for further treatment.
The Italian-born Comboni Missionary was appointed Bishop for Rumbek Diocese on March 8, 2021. His episcopal ordination was scheduled for Pentecost Sunday, May 23, 2021, but was postponed following the incident.
In mid-June 2021, the Catholic Church then appointed the Bishop for Wau Diocese Reverend Mathew Remijio as apostolic administrator for the Diocese of Rumbek.
The high court in Juba started the court proceedings on Monday.
"As a church, him being a major representative of the Catholic Church, the Catholic Church is following closely," said Archbishop Bert Van Megen, Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan.
Archbishop Bert was speaking to reporters at the court premises this afternoon.
The religious leader, however, said the Catholic Church has full trust in the judicial system of South Sudan.
"Once again it is all in the hand of the state of South Sudan… We have full trust in the judicial system of South Sudan," Archbishop Bert said.
The High Court this morning resumed the court session but it was adjourned to Wednesday after the prosecution made its presentation, according to a defense lawyer.
Emmanuel Manase Magok, a defense lawyer for the accused, said: "Today’s session was good. The prosecution has finished its presentation. So the session tomorrow will be for the witnesses."
"As a defense lawyer for the accused, I believe that my clients are innocent, that’s why we are here in the court as a defense team. We, however, admit that there was a crime that has been committed," he concluded.