A team of French Lawyers claiming to be representing Vital Kamerhe the embattled former Chief of Staff in the Congolese Presidency have expressed discontent about the manner in which their client is handled.
These French lawyers have drawn the attention of the international community to their client’s health situation, defense conditions and the unfairness of the proceedings against him.
Vital Kamerhe was in detention at Makala prison and the French lawyers say they had almost daily contact with him (April to September 2020).
However, they claim that since the resumption of the trial before the Court and his transfer to an undisclosed location, “we can no longer reach him, while he himself no longer makes contact with us, and it seems that his Congolese lawyers do not manage to meet him.”
“We receive from his relatives, contradictory and fragmentary information of which the evidence is that they are constrained by an insurmountable fear,” reads a communiqué signed by Clara Gérard-Rodriguez and Pierre-Olivier Sur.
The lawyers also claim that the DRC embassy in France has twice refused granting them visas, on the sole pretext that “we are French lawyers. We approached the French diplomatic authorities at the highest level in vain.”
“In this purely political affair”, according to these lawyers.
According to these lawyers, they want the international community to know that Kamerhe’s state of health, which everyone knows is getting worse, while with each serious alert, “our requests for release have failed without the slightest medical expertise and humanitarian consideration – a magistrate has disappeared in this case, in the midst of a first instance hearing – again, a question of life and death arises.”
Then for the main principles of a fair trial, which should bring together jurists from all the states of law in the world, but which in this case are flouted and ridiculed as in a grotesque caricature of a political trial.
“If we have approached the United Nations working group on arbitrary detention and the Special Rapporteur on the right to health, it appears to us that the emergency requires an immediate and solemn alert, of which this press release is the only expression possible “, conclude Clara Gérard-Rodriguez and President of the Bar Pierre-Olivier Sur.
As a reminder, the Minister of Justice Bernard Takahishe Ngumbi, visited on November 24 the director of the cabinet of the head of state, Vital Kamerhe, interned in a health center in Kinshasa where he is taken care of.
At the end of his visit, Minister Takahishe affirmed that the state of health of the former president of the National Assembly is worrying and that appropriate health care is needed.
“We have just seen Mr. Kamerhe, but he is not in a very comfortable situation. He is seriously ill and it requires that he can have appropriate care so that his situation can improve. Otherwise it may be a problem, “the Minister of Justice had said.
In the process, Minister Takahishe had specified that it will be considered in particular to consider the possibility of evacuating the president of the Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC).