Former Radio Jonglei manager jailed for 10 years
Malek Gutnyin Gerwar, a former station manager of Radio Jonglei 95.9 FM, has been convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to 10 years in prison by a high court in Jonglei State on Monday.
First established with equipment donated by the Christian Missionary Church in 2010, Radio Jonglei is an independent station based in Bor.
Malek Gutnyin served as a station manager of the radio station from 2010 to 2018.
Speaking to press earlier this week, presiding judge Justice John Yel Aleu noted that Gutnyin had illegally attempted to claim ownership of the station and subsequently embezzle funds.
'Today, the court issued its verdict on the Radio Jonglei case. The accused, who was a manager for the radio station, was convicted under Article 351 of the Penal Code 2008, which talks about the criminal breach of trust by a civil servant. Under Article 351, the convict will serve 10 years in prison,” Justice Yel said on Monday.
'Also, when he was the manager, he embezzled some money from the radio station’s bank account with which he bought a car registered in his name. The court ruled by giving the car ownership to the radio station and the convict shall also pay back the rest of the money, that is 186, 868 SSP and 69, 356 USD', the judge added.
Justice Yel also ordered Gutnyin to hand over the land documents pertaining to the ownership of Radio Jonglei to prevent further disputes.
Despite the ruling, Yel noted that Gutnyin has 15 days to appeal the court's decision.
Gutnyin's defense lawyer, Aleer Buot Mayen, has pledged to challenge the high court ruling. He maintains his client is innocent.
'We are saying no breach [of law] had happened. The complainant has no rights over the radio station. My client has been running the station as a community radio for the benefit of the community, not his. As the defense, within three days we will apply for the appeal in Juba', he argued.
Dut Mareu, the lawyer acting on behalf of Radio Tamazuj, said that 'my client Rev. Tijwok Agwet brought the radio station to Bor under his ministry in 2010. He then appointed Malek as a station manager. In 2017 when my client was away, Malek claimed the ownership of the radio station'.