Amira Ali, a controversial Facebook icon, charged with criminal defamation.
A court in South Sudan’s capital Juba charged controversial Facebook icon ‘Mama Amira Ali on Thursday with violating section 289 of the South Sudan penal code for defaming or insulting senior opposition SPLM-IO official Nyenagwek Kuol Maren, who previously served as Warrap state’s minister of information.
Mama Amira appeared in court in June, weeks after being freed on bond on the basis of her lawyers’ allegations that she was feeling ill and unable to face the judicial procedure.
As a consequence, Amira was detained by police and released shortly thereafter.
Nyenagwek’s lawyer, Monyluak Aguer, told reporters following the court session on Thursday afternoon that the court will follow the regular procedure for issuing a final decision under section 289 of the criminal code.
“Today, the Court instructed the prosecution of the accused Amira Ali Thomas under section 289 against us as the accused; we view this as a regular procedure for the court to come up with the outcome of the prosecution under section 289,” Monyluak told reporters in Juba on Thursday.
Monyluak stated that the court will first consider the stance of the accused and defence before rendering a final judgement.
“After that, the court will consider the accused’s and defense’s positions; the court will listen to all sides, which is a positive development for us as defendants since the court has directed the accusations,” he explained.
“She has been released on bond, but the court procedures will continue; the court will then render its judgement; these charges carry a maximum sentence of two years in jail or a fine,” he continued.