Update (7) COURT TRIAL OF AL-SANADRA CASE
The court session was held on Wednesday 13th December 2017 at 11:45 AM before Justice/ Abdeen Hamid Dhahi at Khartoum North court. All parties attended except the prosecutors. The session’s main activity was hearing from the complainant and testimonies from three (3) accusing witnesses. The judge adjourned court sessions to 20th and 21st December 2017.
Summary of the court session
The Court session started at 11:45 AM (Sudan local time) before judge/ Abdeen Hamid Dhahi. In attendance were the investigator, the defendants and the lawyers’ panels in which other lawyers joined the defendant’s panel.as well as public.
The complainant’s statement
Some cases were filed by different relatives of the victims but on 3rd September 2016 they agreed to have one case and to be presented by Al-Sanadra village’s Sheikh/ Mayor: Mr. Babikir Abdalla Babikir. The village Sheikh/ Mayor delivered his statement and was cross examined by the defendants’ lawyers. He informed court that;
- Al-Sanadra is seven Kilometers (7km) from Al-Abbasiya and that most of its dwellers (inhabitants) are from Tagali tribe/ Nuba.
- Al-Sanadra incident took place at about 08:00 AM on 2nd September 2016.
- He had sought for help (intervention) by calling (via phone) the Al-Abbasiya governor and the head of NISS Al-Abbasiya. This was soon after the first bullet was shot but nothing happened (there was no response from them). Nevertheless, the governor was informed a day before the incident about the gathering of the attackers.
- All the attackers are members of PDF mainly from Arab tribe and other tribes.
- The number of attackers ranged between one hundred (100) to one hundred fifty (150) people.
- Al-Sanadra dwellers had earlier been displaced to Al-Abbasiya for three months in 2015 before they returned back.
Names of the three (3) accusing witnesses who testified before court;
- Manal Abdalla Suliman, 22 years. She is an eyewitness of her father’s killing/murder.
- Ahmed Adam Abdelateef, 65 years old. Emam/ Religious leader of Al-Sanadra mosque. He is an eyewitness.
- Aljailey Adam Alawad, 50 years old. He is an eyewitness of the whole incident.
They were examined and cross examined in their testimonies. This was the conclusion;
- The witnesses recognized in person (know) and named some of the defendants.
- Most of the attackers were dressed in PDF uniform and others in civilian clothes.
- The Al-Sanadra dwellers/residents did not fight back or shoot.
- There were two Toyota land-Cruiser vehicles whereby one of them had a machine-gun mounted on and it was used.
- Most of the attackers were armed with AK-47 guns
- The attackers camped at the eastern direction of Al-Sanadra and they prevented any person from moving out of the village by that direction. However, after the incident, it was the same direction that the attackers took to their villages.
- No one was armed at Al-Sanadra.
- The attackers came up with false reasons that, they had lost some cattle and this was the cause of attacking Al-Sanadra.
At the end, the judge adjourned court to 20th and 21st December 2017.
- Both the victims and defendants family members attended court in large numbers that the court hall couldn’t occupy them all.
- Lawyer/ Alshein Suliman Alshein joined the defendants’ panel.
- Apart from the two panels of lawyers, more than twenty other lawyers attended the session.
HUDO urges all the concerned, especially:
- The Sudan court to conduct the trial fairly
- The activists and defendants’ supporters to keep on attending court sessions
- The diplomatic missions and embassies to observe the court sessions
- The Sudan and international media to give full coverage for the court
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