Update (4) COURT TRIAL OF NISS/SUDAN AGAINST PASTORS AND ACTIVIST
The fifth (5th) court proceedings started at 12:50 pm on 5thSeptember 2016 and the hearing was before Justice Dr. Osama M. Abdalla. There was another translator. The prosecutor displayed an audio recording concerning the first and third defendants. The judge ended the session at 03:15 pm and adjourned court to 21st September2016.
Summary of the court session
The session was presided over by Justice Dr. Osama M. Abdalla at Khartoum Centre Court. In attendance were the prosecutor/ investigator, complainant, the defendants and their lawyers as well as the new translator Dr. Adam Mohamadain a lecturer at Khartoum University, translation department. The judge did not give a reason for changing the translator.
The investigator counsel/ Abdurrahman displayed audio recordings and the translator gave interpretation to it. The audio recordings were divided into two sections;
Section one was the 1st defendant conducting an interview with the student/ Ali Omer Mussa (who was burnt) while the 3rd defendant was facilitating the translation between them. According to the audio, the 1st defendant came purposely to document the student’s case after he had been mentioned and highlighted by the 3rd defendant at Addis Ababa conference. According to the investigator, the 1st defendant introduced himself to the burned student as representative of an American organization named PPF in Africa and that they provide assistance to such cases.
Section two was a meeting between the 1st and 3rd defendants at Afraa mall in which the 3rd defendant explains to the 1st defendant how the student had converted from Islam to Christianity and himself. They also discussed about Islam religion.
The defendants’ lawyers objected many times about the court procedures, one of the objections was on the investigator’s comment “the third defendant was dishonest in translation between the first defendant and student”. The court accepted the objection and changed the word dishonest to incorrect. One of the defendants’ lawyers commented directly to the court that: “it’s unacceptable for the court to be directed/ driven by one of the litigants”.
At 03:15 pm the judge ended the session and adjourned court to 21st September 2016 because of the Eid holiday (Eid Aladhaa).
- Court did not register/write down the translation, the judge only kept listening to the verbal interpretation and no written version was given to the judge by the translator.
- The number of NISS operatives in attendance had reduced compared to the previous sessions.
- High number of people/public came to attend to the extent that some who were allowed used to sit on the floor because lack of seats.
- One of the observers lawyer commented that: It’s very clear to any observer that, the judge is doing his best to protect the accusing panel from being objected or critiqued.
HUDO is highly concern about the way court is running. To ensure that the international standard of justice is followed, HUDO recommends that;
- Urge the Sudan court conducts a fair trial.
- Urges the EU, USA and other embassies to attend the court sessions.
- Calls upon the activists and defendants’ supporters to keep on attending the trial.
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