DRC: A Belgian lawyer detained in Kinshasa for almost 500 days

DRC: A Belgian lawyer detained in Kinshasa for almost 500 days

The defender, registered with the Brussels bar, compromised a scam worth more than 600 million dollars.

Since August 24, 2022, a Brussels lawyer has been de facto prohibited from leaving the territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since this date, which was to correspond to his return to Europe by Air France flight 716, the lawyer has been deprived of his passport, confiscated by the General Directorate of Migration (DGM) for “verification”.

Five hundred days later, the “verifications” are clearly not completed.

A check for 600 million

This whole intrigue begins on April 9, 2021 when the defender, who has been traveling back and forth between Brussels and Kinshasa for around twenty years, is consulted by the Congolese presidency in the context of an oil file (Digoil) for which the DRC has was fined $617 million. A file born under the regime of President Joseph Kabila.

It was a matter of informing the presidency on the previous processing of the file and of rendering a legal opinion on the transaction that the Minister of Finance presented to the Head of State,” says the lawyer, who explains in substance that the DRC was systematically convicted by default in this case for not having appeared at the various appointments set by the courts, whether Congolese or international. The judges therefore did not have to examine the contents of the file.

When the Belgian lawyer was consulted, the transaction, presented by the Minister of Finance, consisted of “an apparent reduction to 300 million dollars to be paid by the allocation of an oil block”, continues the member of the Brussels bar.

For simplicity ; the magnanimous plaintiffs, who had obtained a conviction from the Congolese State, proposed to “barter” the amount of this debt against an oil block… which could bring in much more than the amount of the conviction.

The legal opinion of the Brussels lawyer is clear: “Everything is based on a fraudulent setup tending to artificially impute a debt, fundamentally non-existent, to be borne by the country. It was an operation aimed at the plundering of the Nation’s resources; which under the terms of articles 56 and 57 of the Constitution constitutes the crime of high treason. The Presidency of the Republic seems to have followed my recommendations since after that, it refused this transaction.”

The thugs, who see the millions of dollars disappearing, hardly appreciate it. The lawyer is being pressured to change his recommendations. “The objective is to fool the head of state,” continues the Brussels resident who will receive a visit from two senior officials from the Ministry of Finance. “They told me that their minister demanded that I stop attacking him and added that if I persisted in my analyses, he was going to block payments hoping to dry me up financially.” The standoff will again lead to a kidnapping on March 19, 2022 followed by arbitrary detention. The lawyer will notify the Belgian embassy in Kinshasa. In response, she explains that it is a private matter and she provides him with “a list of recommended lawyers in Kinshasa”. This December 4, 2023, the lawyer is still without news of his passport, but those who claim to fraudulently get their hands on these millions of dollars have not given up all hope of achieving their ends.