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South Sudan: Juba Monitor’s Chief Editor Arrested for Defying Court Order

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Anna Nimiriano, Editor-in-chief Juba Monitor

The editor-in-chief of Juba Monitor has been arrested for allegedly defying a court order that suspended the newspaper activities.

This came after the family of the late Alfred Taban and the management of Juba Monitor newspaper went to court over ownership of the company and sharing of resources.

This is according to the newspaper lawyer Lazarus Leju.

He says Anna Nimiriano was picked up on Tuesday by court’s police and jailed at Juba Central Prison for not complying with a court order.

Leju said that his client was dissatisfied with the court suspension of activities of Juba Monitor Newspaper.

Last week, Kator court in Juba suspended activities of Grand Media Africa Company Limited and Juba Monitor Newspaper over malpractices until final court disposal.

The arrest of editor in chief of Juba Monitor, Anna Nimiriano came after she refused to comply with a court order of high court judge Mujahid Abdullah Akol.

A court order issued last week reads;“Freezing of all Juba Monitor Bank Accounts and the newspaper’s activities. Appointment of three administrators, 2 from plaintiff and defendant and 1 from court to observe assets of Company and Newspaper.”

The suspension came after the family who is the heirs to the properties of late Alfred Taban Logune had a dispute with the company over the sharing of resources.

Juba Monitor Lawyer said that there are no justifications for this arrest.

“What happened yesterday [Tuesday] was surprising with the order of the court issuing a warrant of arrest against the editor-in-chief. There are no justifications of the warrant of the arrest,” Leju said.

“We were dissatisfied with the order of that court and as such, we filed an appeal against that order and there is a letter from the court of appeal asking him [Judge] supposed to submit the file not to do anything.

“He [Judge] is not bound to issue any warrant once the letter from the court of appeal asking him to produce the file, because that one is a superior court, that is the mistake also committed by the judge.

“We don’t know the Judge is now acting as if he is having personal interest in the case and this is our surprise.”

For his part, Becu Pitia Lagu, the family lawyer of the late Alfred Taban Logune, told Eye Radio that Anna Nimiriano was jailed for violating the court ruling which was passed on the 13th April last week.

“Yesterday [Tuesday] Anna Nimiriano was picked up by the court police on the order of the court, concerning the court order on publication of the newspaper in violation of the court ruling which was passed on date 13 of this month,” Pitia said on Tuesday.

“As a lawyer representing the interest of the family, we brought this matter to the attention of the court. Despite the ruling, the newspaper continued to be published on date 14 and the same day of date 14 afternoons I went to the court and I brought this fact to the attention of the court.”

The Juba Monitor newspaper was established in Juba in 2012 as an offshoot of the Khartoum Monitor Newspaper founded by the late Alfred Taban and others in the year 2000.

After the independence of South Sudan in 2011, Late Alfred Taban relocated to Juba and renamed his publication, the Juba Monitor with its original shareholders.

He was the Executive Director of Grand Media Africa Company Limited and at the same time, the editor-in-chief of Juba Monitor and later, Alfred Taban owned some shares, as well as some people became shareholders.

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