Court sentences NSS officer Longar to death by hanging for double murder

A Juba high court has sentenced a National Security officer, Bobby Longar Akok, to death by hanging.

A Juba high court has sentenced a National Security officer, Bobby Longar Akok, to death by hanging.

On Monday, Longar was convicted for the murder of his wife and her presumed lover in June at the Bedouin Hotel. But the judge gave the families of the two victims a chance to consult on whether to choose blood compensation or the death penalty.

During the court verdict, the judge said witnesses produced evidence that affirms that the accused, Bobby Longar Akok shot his wife, Rebecca Anyon Kot, and her alleged boyfriend, Akec Atak Madut, with five bullets each, killing them on the spot. 

The families of the two victims on Friday asked the court to hang the National Security officer to death by hanging.

High Court Judge Alexander Sabor announced that Longar has been found guilty of murder under Section 206 of South Sudan`s Penal Code Act 2008. 

“This court has sentenced Bobby Longar Akok to death by hanging for violating Article 206 of the Penal Code 2008,” Judge Sabor said.

The presiding judge, however, recommended to the higher authorities that the sentence be changed from a death sentence by hanging to life imprisonment.

“The convict has gone through a lot of provocation in his life. Although Longar practised brutality in killing the two deceased, he underwent accumulated provocations from the wife and her boyfriend,” Justice Sabor said.

“Although I sentenced Longar to death by hanging, I appeal to the confirmation authorities to change the death sentence by hanging to life imprisonment,” he stressed.

Reaction to the verdict

Reacting to the court ruling, Makur Bech Tianic, a family member of the late Rebecca Anyon Kot, wife of the convicted National Security Officer, said Longar has to face the wrath of the law.

“We are satisfied with the court ruling, but what the judge wrote in the sentencing for me as an elder to the family of Rebecca Anyon, I am not happy with it. I wanted Bobby Longar to be hanged to death,” he said.

“The ruling is not the final result. If he has been hanged to death, that is when we can say that the law has taken its course. This is when as a relative of the deceased, we will be happy. The ruling is not the last thing, but after implementing the decision, that is when we know that the case is closed,” he added.

On his part, the Plaintiff Advocate, Tong John Clement, described the judgment as fair, saying justice has been served.

He expressed concerns about the statement of the judge that he wants the higher court to give a life sentence instead of the death penalty, describing the statement as it means justice has not been served. 

“I believe the judgment was fair and just considering the fact that the killing itself was very shocking, was evil at the same time actually it has shocked the entire nation the way he killed these two people, Clement said.

“The judgment was fair and just; however, the final comment, which was shared by the judge after hearing the opinion of the families, was that they need the accused to be hanged, and his suggestion is that instead of him being hanged, he should be given a life sentence. I see this as if he contradicts his ruling, which he first stated. We will wait until we confirm from the higher authorities whether they will proceed with the hanging or they will give a life sentence,” he concluded.