A group of lawyers defending Moïse Katumbi a business tycoon and self declared presidential candidate in the forthcoming elections in DRC fear their client may not get a fair hearing in the mercenary case.
Moïse Katumbi is a former governor of Katanga Province in DRC, a major mining hub in the vast mineral rich country.
During a press conference held in Kinshasa on Wednesday, Katumbi’s lawyers called on the Prosecutor General of the Republic on the non-respect of article 19 of the Constitution concerning the double degree of jurisdiction to which their client must benefit.
There is a risk that the Mercenary case may be referred to the Supreme Court and the Lawyers argue that by referring Katumbi’s case directly to the Supreme Court, there is a risk of depriving him of his level of appeal and, consequently, in the event of a judgment not in accordance with the law, there will be no possibility of to correct it.
Prosecution has pinned the former Governor of several crimes including from the year 2014 including the enrollment of soldiers, the supply of weapons and ammunition without order or authorization of the government.
In 2016, DRC Justice Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba told journalists that there was “documented proof” that former US soldiers and South Africans were among the foreigners working for Katumbi in Katanga, the province in which he is based.
“I gave the orders to the PGR [general prosecutor of the republic] to open a judicial case in Katanga,” Thambwe Mwamba said then.
According to the DRC Government, more than 600 US citizens, mostly men, had entered the country since October in 2015