Phew of relief for the former president of the National Assembly, Vital Kamerhe. The Court of Cassation of the Democratic Republic of Congo overturned on Monday, April 11, the judgment of the Court of Appeal which had sentenced him to thirteen years in prison for embezzlement of public funds.
The Court of Cassation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo quashed the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which sentenced the former Chief of Staff of President Félix Tshisekedi to 13 years in prison for embezzlement of public funds, and sent the case back to new judges.
“The Court of Cassation […] receives the appeal [of Vital Kamerhe Lwa Kanyiginyi Nkingi] and says it is well founded, quashes the judgment under appeal with reference. Refers the case to the Kinshasa-Gombe Court of Appeal, otherwise composed,” said Justice Christophe Mukendi after a public hearing.
Vital Kamerhe, 63, a former Speaker of the National Assembly, was sentenced in April 2020 to 20 years in prison for embezzlement of nearly $50 million. This sum was allocated to the construction of prefabricated houses for military and police officers, as part of a program that was to launch the mandate of President Tshisekedi. Sentence subsequently reduced to 13 years in prison on appeal in June 2021. During the hearings, his lawyers denounced “a political trial to prevent him from appearing in 2023”.
As a reminder, in 2018, Mr. Kamerhe withdrew in favour of Mr. Tshisekedi at the end of the presidential campaign and, according to an agreement between the two men, was to be a candidate for the next election scheduled for 2023.