DRC: Congolese justice refuses criticism in the Okende case

The Attorney General at the Court of Cassation who announced the suicide of Chérubin Okende threatens the media. What do the reports of foreign experts who intervened in this matter at the request of Félix Tshisekedi really say?

Thursday, February 29, the Attorney General at the Court of Cassation Firmin Mvonde Mambu announced the conclusions of the case on the death of Chérubin Okende. The spokesperson for Moïse Katumbi's Ensemble pour la République party was found lifeless in his vehicle on July 13 in the early morning on a busy road in the capital.

According to this magistrate, Chérubin Okende committed suicide!

A few hours later there discovery of the body, theThe same prosecutor had mentioned an assassination, pointing an accusing finger in the direction of Chérubin Okende's bodyguard who had been arrested. Seven months later, the magistrate backpedaled, basing himself in particular, according to his statements, on the autopsy carried out on the victim by a group of experts including a Belgian, A South Africans and a UN delegation.

For Congolese justice, political opponent Chérubin Okende committed suicide

The Attorney General's revelations sowed confusion as the theory of assassination, in view of the available elements, seemed to leave no doubt. Sources close to the investigation told us on several occasions that “the little blood located at the impact of the shot demonstrates that it occurred post-mortem”.

Prosecutor Mvombe's conclusions sparked widespread criticism on social media. Unacceptable for the senior magistrate who sent a letter to the Attorney General at the Gombe Court of Appeal in which he “asks to arrest any person who is the author” of “gossip” on the “ conclusion of the expert report.

Confidentiality clause ?

According to another diplomatic source in the DRC, foreign experts “would have agreed to sign a confidentiality clause with the Congolese authorities, which cannot be envisaged without the agreement of their government prohibiting them from communicating the elements of this report.

Contacted on this point, the minister's office Belgian of Justice, Paul VanTigchelt, who took over last October to the resigning minister Vincent Van Quickenborne, outlines and explains, while recalling that it was his predecessor who accepted the request from the Congolese authorities: “Belgium is not and has not been involved in the investigation itself. The support provided by the Belgian expert was ad hoc and only of a technical nature. A report from his mission, including technical recommendations for the continuation of the investigation, was submitted on August 30 to the Prosecutor General of the Court of Cassation. » No response, despite our insistence, on the question of the confidentiality clause. The ministry, however, adds in its response: “We regret that journalists continue to be the subject of threats and even arbitrary arrests and detentions. Freedoms of the press and expression are fundamental principles of the democratic system and must be preserved. We urge the Congolese government to work to improve respect for these freedoms.”

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