AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
Published — Saturday 8 December 2012
Last update 7 December 2012 10:51 pm
JUBA, South Sudan: South Sudan has dropped charges against an American citizen arrested for kidnapping and whose family claimed security forces demanded $ 100,000 for his release, US diplomats said yesterday.
Elton McCabe and his Iraqi colleague Mohamed Oghlah were arrested in October on charges of plotting to kidnap a Indian businessman for a $ 5 million ransom.
“We can confirm that the High Court of Central Equatoria State dismissed the case against Mr. Elton McCabe and Mr. Mohamed Oghlah,” the US embassy in Juba said in a statement. McCabe’s wife said last month that the men, who were working for a consultancy firm in Juba, were arrested on the street by intelligence services on Oct. 14, and were beaten in custody and denied food and medicine.
She added that she had been asked to pay $ 100,000 for his release. South Sudan’s government and security forces have yet to comment on the matter and could not be reached yesterday.
Their lawyer Agok Makur said the justice ministry “once they realized that there was no case wrote to the judge” and the case had been dropped.
South Sudan, the world’s newest nation after winning independence in July 2011 following decades of war with Sudan, is struggling to build basic institutions, and its security forces are made up of former rebel fighters.