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DRC Court Postpones Hearing in Case Of Slain Italian Envoy

3 Min Read

The Kinshasa/Gombe military court on Wednesday postponed hearing relating to the assassination of the Italian ambassador to the DRC, Luca Attanasio, on February 22 2021, near Goma.

“The hearing is postponed to December 14, to allow the defense to take possession of the rest of the elements of the file, and the court to proceed with verifying the facts advanced by the defendant,” the court said.

Bahati Kiboko, one of the co-authors accused of the murder of the diplomat will return to court in two weeks.

“This woman is lying. I did not kill the ambassador. This denunciation is a scheme orchestrated by her and her lover (a colonel from Goma) who want to steal my property. I was in prison the day the ambassador was killed. How would I have killed him?” the defendant Bahati Kiboko asked.

The defendant’s wife accuses him of having killed the ambassador and accuses him of being a repeat offender, accustomed to committing crimes of kidnapping.

She saw her husband bring back three cell phones and a computer on February 22, 2021, and sold them a few days later to an unidentified gentleman living in Bukavu, court heard.

To this allegation, the Public Prosecutor maintained that the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) of Rwanda provided elements consistent with the testimony of Mrs. Bahati (wife of the defendant).

Indeed, the three telephones and the computer which would belong to the ambassador and his driver were found with Murhala Kabange, who is in Bukavu.

Six people are being prosecuted for the assassination of Luca Attanasio, his Italian bodyguard, rifleman Vittorio Iacovacci, and a Congolese World Food Program (WFP) driver, Mustapha Milambo, it is reported.

The three men were shot dead after falling into an ambush near the Virunga National Park, in North Kivu, a province in the east of the DRC plagued for nearly 30 years by violence from armed groups.

Four other men, including Prince Marco Shimiyimana, have been appearing in this trial since October 12, 2022, before this military court within the premises of the Ndolo military prison, where they are being held.

The sixth suspect is on the run. All are accused of “murder, criminal association, illegal possession of weapons and ammunition of war.”