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Saturday, August 13, 2022

DR Congo’s president’s ex-aide acquitted

DR Congo president’s ex-aide / Credit: REUTERS

A court in the Democratic Republic of Congo has acquitted President Félix Tshisekedi’s former chief of staff of charges of corruption, according to his lawyer.

Vital Kamerhe was sentenced in 2020 to 20 years of hard labour after being found guilty of embezzling almost $50m (£39m) of public funds.

The missing funds were intended to be used in a housing project announced by the president following his inauguration.

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The acquittal by a Court of Appeal in the capital, Kinshasa, was communicated to Mr Kamerhe’s lawyers, according to news agencies.

It cited lack of evidence and cleared him of all charges.

Mr Kamerhe was the most high-profile figure to be convicted of corruption in DR Congo.

But his lawyer, Hugues Pulusi, told journalists on Thursday that “justice has repaired its injustice”.

An earlier appeal court had reduced his 20-year jail time to 13 years, before Thursday’s acquittal.

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