Democratic Republic of Congo : Floribert Chebeya

On June 2010, Floribert Chebeya, founding President of the Congolese NGO “La Voix des Sans Voix” (Voice of the Voiceless - VSV), was found dead in his car, his hands tied behind his back, on a road on the outskirts of Kinshasa. His driver, Fidèle Bazana,


Résumé des faits


Floribert Chebeya

Floribert Chebeya, Président-fondateur de l’ONG congolaise La Voix des Sans Voix (VSV)

Floribert Chebeya was the founding president of the Congolese NGO "Voice of the Voiceless"(VSV).
At the time of his death, the activist, a fervent defender of Human rights, was working on very sensitive files related to the massacres perpetrated in Lower-Congo in 2007 and a series of arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances.
 

The trial opened on 12 November 2010 before a military court. On the same day, the trial was postponed until 3 December 2010 in the premises of the Makala prison (Kinshasa); the room initially taken was too small. The trial was meant to open before civil jurisdictions but the Public prosecutor's office preferred to divest itself of the case the 28thof October to entrust it to the General Military Auditorat on the basis that all suspects were senior officers of the national police.


Eight police officers were charged with "criminal conspiracy, assassination and kidnapping”, including Colonel Daniel Mukalay, responsible of the murder according to the Public Prosecutor. Only five policemen appeared and pleaded not guilty, the three others, being on the run.

 

John Numbi

John Numbi

On 16 December 2010, the Kinshasa Military Court rejected the claim of the civil parties demanding the trial be conducted by the Military High Court. The status of this High Court would allow the prosecution of General John Numbi while the military court had no jurisdiction to try the police chef. This Court can only try officers from the rank of colonel down.

Chronology


31 May 2010            Floribert CHEBEYA was summoned to a meeting with General John NUMBI at the General Inspectorate of Police.

1 June 2010         Chebeya went to police headquarters. The meeting never took place as General Numbi was absent.

2 June 2010         Chebeya was found dead in his car and his chauffeur, was listed missing.

5 June 2010         Several officers and agents of the General Intelligence Directorate were arrested. General John Numbi was suspended.

22 June 2010         The Republic’s General Prosecutor, Flory Kabange Numbi, assures to have handed all evidence and documents of the investigation concerning the Floribert Chebeya murder to the DRC General Military Auditorat, the alleged killers being tried to the military courts.

28 October 2010     The trial was meant to be open before civil jurisdictions but the Public prosecutor's office preferred to divest itself of the case the 28th of October to entrust it to the General Military Auditorat on the basis that all suspects were senior officers of the national police.

12 November 2010    Opening of Chebeya trial before a military court.
Eight police officers were charged with "criminal conspiracy, assassination and kidnapping”, including Colonel Daniel Mukalay.
The trial was pushed back until the 3rd of December 2010

November 2011       Release of Thierry Michel’s film "l'Affaire Chebeya: un crime d'Etat?" (“Chebeya Case: A State crime?”)

23 June 2011 The verdict
Colonel Daniel Mukalay, deputy head of the police special services, the head of the elite Simba Battalion, his bodyguard, and the chief of the Protocol at the Inspectorate General (IG) of the DRC police – the latter three, at large – were sentenced to death penalty.

19 June 2012 Opening of the appeal trial
 



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