Abraham Chol leaving tenth court premises after getting a 3-year jail term on 20 December 2022. [Photo: Radio Tamazuj]

‘Prophet’ Abraham Chol sentenced to three years

The High Court in Juba on Tuesday sentenced the self-styled prophet Abraham Chol Maketh to three years in jail.

The High Court in Juba on Tuesday sentenced the self-styled prophet Abraham Chol Maketh to three years in jail. 

The court found Abraham Chol guilty under Sections 76 and 202 of the Penal Code Act 2008. 

When reading the sentence, Judge Simaya Sallah said Chol was sentenced to three years in jail under section 202 and three months jail terms under section 76 or pay a fine of SSP 500,000. 

The court granted the defense team 15 days to appeal the judgment.
Abraham Chol was arrested in July 2021. Days before, the cleric had told his congregation during a Sunday service that both President Salva Kiir and his first deputy Riek Machar would be unseated from office on July 9th, the independence anniversary, to make way for new leadership.

Speaking to reporters after the court ruling, Latjor Kueth Jal, Head of the Prosecution Team said they are satisfied with the ruling of the court. 

He revealed that they had wanted the court to include some of the charges that were initially dropped but the court has taken the decision. 

“The accused has been convicted under two sections, Section 76 and Section 202 of the Penal Code 2008, and the decision of the court for the first section is to give a fine of SSP 500,000 if he doesn’t pay he will spend three months in the prison. For the second section the accused has been charged and convicted for two years imprisonment” he said. 

“If you were at the beginning of the court session they gave a piece of information that we can appeal. We submitted an appeal against the decision of dropping charges and released some accusations. We did not say that we are satisfied but the court is the one to evaluate the evidence so we have the right to appeal the decision of dropping charges,” Kueth added.
Meanwhile, Johnson Mayik, a member of the Defense Team showed dissatisfaction with the court’s ruling saying their client had already spent nearly two years behind bars and so they had expected the court to free the prophet. 

“We as a defense are going to appeal this judgment because we see that it is not fair for him to be sentenced to two years and eight months for him now is remaining like eight months in prison. We will appeal that case,” he announced.

“We had expected that this judgment should come in the form that Abraham has like one year and four months in prison and then he is supposed to be released immediately after this judgment accordingly because the prosecution did not have a case, they did not prove their case beyond any reasonable doubt,” Mayik reiterated. 

On his part, Phillip Deng, a cousin to Abraham Chol described the judgment as shallow. 

“As a family, this judgment is quite shallow, you cannot charge him of insulting the president while he was talking to his god, his god gave him the message to deliver to the president,” Deng said. “He (Abraham Chol) did not call the president stupid, he did not call him a useless man, he did not call him anything he just said exit that is the message he said he got from god. We, the family cannot know whether it is true or not this is the message he said so, to say that he insulted the president by the court is completely wrong.
However, while he was leaving the court premises, Abraham Chol stressed that the country needs a new president describing the incumbent as tired. 

“When I come out, I will see the change. I am here now working for change, for a new life for the country and a young president is a major need for this country. We need a young president. Our president has done his work, he is tired and he needs to rest,” ‘Prophet’ Chol said.