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Defendant alleges Andre Kimbuta ordered the murder of Kinshasa MP Botethi

Radio Okapi - July 19, 2008

Lawyers for Botethi's family have asked that André Kimbuta Yango appear immediately before the court, while the presiding judge wants to first establish the link between the accused and the provincial governor of Kinshasa.

"The person who ordered the murder for which we are being judged is the governor of the city of Kinshasa." These words by the defendant Patrick Mwewa caused such a turmoil in the audience that the hearing had to be suspended to allow the police to restore calm.

After Patrick Mwewa named the governor as the person who ordered the murder, lawyers for Botethi's family demanded that he be heard by the court because his name had come up in the criminal proceedings. Mr. Nyangu, a lawyer for Mr. Botethi's familly, said that "Wherever you are, if you are named in a criminal proceeding, you have to be brought before the court. The governor of Kinshasa, named in these proceedings, should act accordingly. He must come before the court or else he should be brought by force."

For the presiding judge, any links between André Kimbuta and the killers of the vice-president of the Provincial Assembly of Kinshasa must be proven before he is called to appear before the court.

Defense lawyers are now waiting for Patrick Mwewa's allegations to be proven. Raoul Konga, a defence lawyer, explains: "If you are named in a criminal proceeding, you don't automatically have to appear before the court. The court is now assessing the allegations made by the defendant. If the court finds that there is probably cause, the court will summon the person named to court".

During the hearing on Friday, Mr Kankonde,the former bodyguard of the deceased, was heard. He was asked whether he is the one who shot Patrick Mwewa as alleged by the defendant, or whether he had been shot by one of his accomplices.

Andre Kimbuta is calm and ready to help the court so that justice can be done

That's what Therese Olenga Kalonda, spokesperson for the provincial government, said Friday evening. She said this was some kind of manipulation: "We the members of the provincial government, starting with the governor himself, stay calm. Right now we are confident in the courts of the country. And we are ready to help in any way, so that justice can be done and the truth may triumph. We, the provincial government and the governor, take our reputation very seriously. We make ourselves availlable to the judicial system because we want the truth to prevail. We keep our serenity in this case. If you were in court, you must have noticed that there was clearly flip-flopping and manipulation going on. And I assure you, our interest is that this matter be clarified. We don't want to be tainted. It won't be easy. But we are confident that the truth will prevail, because we have nothing to do with this."

The next hearing in this trial is scheduled on Monday, July 21.

Translated by | Original article in French

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