A Congolese journalist suspected of having information on the murder of two UN experts in 2017 in Kasai, in the center of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was indicted on Wednesday September 22, according to the military prosecution.
Sosthène Kambidi had been heard since his arrest in Kinshasa, on the night of Monday to Tuesday. He “Is no longer heard as a witness, but as an accused”, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) a senior military prosecutor. “The interrogation continues”, he added, refusing to specify which charge had been retained against the journalist.
At the end of the day, Sosthène Kambidi, correspondent for AFP and the Congolese online media Actualite.cd in Kananga, the capital of Kasai-central, was authorized to benefit from the assistance of a lawyer. But the latter was not reachable Wednesday evening.
The trial is stalling
At midday, two journalists, from AFP and Actualite.cd, were able to exchange with Sosthène Kambidi for more than an hour, in the presence of a high-ranking magistrate. Serene, the journalist had recounted being questioned about the detention of the video of the murder of the Swedish Zaida Catalan and the American Michael Sharp on March 12, 2017.
The prosecution is trying to find out how he came into possession of this video and who gave it to him. The journalist claimed to have been questioned by a Congolese military magistrate and, by videoconference, by “People from the UN mechanism set up to assist the Congolese military justice”.
According to the official version of the authorities at the time, Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalan were killed by militiamen of the Kamuina Nsapu sect, then at war with the regular army. The conflict left 3,400 dead and tens of thousands displaced between September 2016 and mid-2017 in the Kasai region.
About thirty people are accused of having participated in this murder. But the trial, opened on June 5, 2017, stalled.