Congolese justice sentences journalist to 6 months in prison

Congolese justice sentences journalist to 6 months in prison

The prosecution demanded 20 years in prison against the journalist who did not sign the incriminating text.

Congolese justice on Monday sentenced journalist Stanis Bujakera to six months in prison and one million Congolese francs ($400). The man had been detained since September 8 and tried for an article, which he never signed, published in the magazine Jeune Afrique which questioned military intelligence and the Belgian director of this institution, General Ndaywell , in the death of the opponent Chérubin Okende. The remains of the former minister and spokesperson for the opponent Moïse Katumbi will be buried on March 20 in Kinshasa.

Mr. Okende's death was ultimately qualified as a suicide by the highest levels of Congolese justice, claiming to be based on the conclusions of medical experts. Analyzes of which no element has filtered despite requests from lawyers for the victim's family, both in Kinshasa and in Brussels. In fact, a Belgian expert was sent to Kinshasa by the Belgian Ministry of Justice at the request of the Congolese authorities.

Stanis Bujakera was found guilty of “counterfeiting”, “forgery”, “use of forgery”, “propagation of false rumors”, “transmission of an erroneous message”.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) welcomed “Stanis' soon-to-be-discovered freedom” by recalling that “he should never have been arrested, prosecuted and convicted” in this “fabricated case (…)”. Stanis Bujakera having served his preventive sentence, he should be released as soon as his fine is paid. His lawyers are expected to appeal this conviction.

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