The Juba high court on Friday ordered South Supreme Airlines to pay 1.36 million U.S dollars to families of plane crash victims in Pieri area of Jonglei State.
James Lado Jada, the high court judge presiding over the case that has been running since September 2021, ordered the now grounded South Supreme Airlines to compensate eight families of the victims each with 170,000 dollars.
A total of eight passengers including two pilots on board HK 2474 perished at Pieri Airstrip on March 2, 2021 in Uror County of Jonglei state.
“The plane crashed on March 2, 2021 at Pieri, killing all 8 passengers on board, the company is responsible for compensation, according to article 17 and 21 of the Montreal Convention of 1999 it is entitled to pay 170,000 dollars for each victim,” Lado said while issuing the verdict in Juba.
The South Supreme Airline was also ordered to pay 10 percent fees for lawyers representing families of the victims.
Monyluak Alor, the lawyer for the families of the victims, welcomed the court ruling, adding that airline companies in the country should always abide by international air transport treaties such as the 1999 Montreal Convention.
“The ruling is just because it has considered regulations of aircraft, the court considered the Montreal Agreement which is an international regulation. I hope the relevant authorities could be listening to this it is very clear that there are so many rules and regulations that are not being observed,” Monyluak said.
John Ken Mayoal, the representative of the families of the victims, said they have been waiting for justice for so long.
He advised the government to inspect all commercial aircrafts operating in the country.
“We hope the ruling will help the public, it is not only South Supreme that crashed there are other planes that have crashed,” Mayoal said.
Yuanis Yoal Kai, the former Manager of Pieri Airstrip who was a witness in court, said the court verdict will relieve the families of the victims from trauma.
“This ruling shows independence of the South Sudan court that gives us dignity, this ruling will relieve us from trauma, and it is going to tell the nation how to take care of aircrafts they are finishing people,” Kai said.