A South Sudan court on Friday sentenced a South African ex-colonel to be executed by hanging, a witness said, after he was convicted of conspiracy and attempting to overthrow the government.
Rtd Col. William Endley, 55, had been providing advice to former-vice-president-turned-rebel-leader Riek Machar, whose forces have been fighting a civil war since 2013.
On Feb. 15, the court said no defence witnesses appeared to testify in the trial of Endley.
“The defence case is closed and the final judgment will be given on the 23rd of this month”, presiding judge Ladu Sekwat said during the hearing.
Endley’s lawyer Gardit Gar told Reuters that six witnesses had been served with a notification to testify, including a government minister.
In addition to charges of conspiracy and the supply of weapons, Endley, was accused of espionage, waging an insurgency, sabotage, terrorism and illegal entry into South Sudan.
He was charged alongside James Dak, a former spokesman for Machar, who was also handed the death sentence for incitement and conspiracy against Kiir’s government.
South Sudan, which won independence from Sudan in 2011, descended into civil war in 2013, months after Kiir fired his then deputy Machar.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed and a third of the population have fled their homes.
Machar, who fled to Democratic Republic of Congo after fierce fighting broke out in Juba in July 2016, is now in South Africa under virtual house arrest.
Talks on a new power-sharing arrangement and an election are taking place in the Ethiopian capital but clashes have continued despite the signing of a ceasefire in December.