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JUBA - 23 Feb 2018

James Gatdet’s family to appeal against court ruling on Monday

A relative of James Gatdet, the former official spokesman of South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar who was sentenced to death by hanging has said they are ready to appeal the High Court’s verdict.

Gatdet was found guilty of treason, disseminating false information to the detriment of South Sudanese national security and insulting President Salva Kiir. The court gave the defendant 15 days to appeal.

The relative told Radio Tamazuj today that the family finally secured a lawyer who is ready to present the appeal at the appeals court.

“We got another lawyer. He will forward it on Monday. He already picked the case from the court, and he is working on it. He called us that he already prepared the case and will present it in court on Monday,” he said.

Last month, James Gatdet’s defense team withdrew from the case, saying they were no longer representing him in protest of what they termed “unfair trial.”

Amnesty International said the death sentence by hanging is completely unacceptable and must be quashed adding that Gatdet had had no legal representation for more than a month.