The Lawyer representing Édouard Mwangachuchu a Legislator representing the Masisi constituency in the DRC National Assembly has vowed to appeal against a death sentence handed to his client.
A Congolese military court on Friday sentenced Mwangachuchu aged 70, to death after he was found guilty of involvement with the M23 rebel movement.
The court verdict also slapped Mwangachuchu with a fine worth U$100 million in damages.
Sitting in a mobile audience at Ndolo prison, the Military High Court did not strip Mwangachuchu of his mandate as a member of the Nationa Assembly but court ordered the confiscation of weapons held by this elected official from Masisi for the benefit of the Congolese state.
During the court procedings, a group of lawyers representing
Mwangachuchu had suggested that the public prosecutor had not proven accusations against the member of Parliament whom it presents as “someone on whom we want to make bear all the sins of the Tutsis on insecurity in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mwangachuchu, who was not present at the sentencing, was found guilty of “illegal possession of weapons and munitions of war,” as well as “treason” and “participation in the M23 insurrectionary movement,” said presiding judge General Robert Kalala.
However, the death penalty is often handed down in the Democratic Republic of Congo but has not been applied for 20 years and is systematically commuted to life imprisonment.
His co-defendent Robert Muchamalirwa, a police captain prosecuted for “violation of orders” was acquitted by the court, which then ordered his immediate release.
Mwangachuchu’s lawyer said he will appeal the verdict, calling it a trial “based on ethnic hatred and deductions.”
Thomas Gamakolo said that it had never been proven that Mwangachuchu had links with Rwanda and was presumed guilty because he belonged to the Tutsi ethnic group.
“It is very difficult today in our country to live or exist as a Tutsi,” the lawyer said.