Mr. Makur gave details of how the Catholic Priest “convened multiple meetings with the assailants on how they could attack the Bishop-elect in order to scare him away and he (Fr. Mathiang) could take over the helm of the Diocese of Rumbek.”
During the March 14 hearing, Mr. Matur refuted Mr. Makur’s claims, saying that “Fr. Mathiang never held any meeting with those other accused to shoot the bishop”, a source who had followed the court session told ACI Africa.
“When the Bishop-elect arrived in Rumbek, it was Fr. John Mathiang who informed the Church … he was the one who welcomed him from the airport,” Mr. Matur is said to have told the court on March 14, adding, “Fr. Mathiang warmly welcomed the bishop-elect and toured in and out of Rumbek town, while visiting the churches and schools built by the Church.”
On his part, Mr. Makur dismissed Mr. Matur’s narrative, arguing that he (Mr. Matur) was defending Fr. Mathiang as his kinsman, as “their in-law”.
After the shooting incident, Mr. Makur recalled, “it was Abraham (Matur) who said we should not reveal that we had several (planning) meetings with Fr. John Mathiang.”
Mr. Matur denied having any relations with “any of the accused including Fr. Mathiang,” a report obtained by ACI Africa following the March 14 hearing of the case that was first mentioned on January 26 indicates.
“Justice Sebur Subek is expected to submit the court file for the final verdict on 25th March 2022,” according to the report about the case that has seen one of the witnesses put Fr. Mathiang at the center of the 26 April 2021 shooting incident.
Earlier this month, two of the six suspects in the case were freed because of what the judge termed “lack of evidence against them.”
Mons. Carlassare was appointed Bishop for Rumbek on 8 March 2021. His Episcopal Ordination had initially been scheduled for Pentecost Sunday, 23 May 2021.
Last October, the Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya and South Sudan, Archbishop Hubertus van Megen, announced the postponement of Mons. Carlassare’s consecration “to 2022, at a date still to be determined.”