Sentenced to death in connection with the trial of the 2001 assassination of former President Laurent-Désiré Kabila, Eddy Kapend will benefit from a pardon from the president. Ordinances were read that evening. Laurent-Désiré Kabila’s ex-aide-de-camp spent more than 20 years behind bars. Eddy Kapend is considered a political prisoner by several NGOs and has always claimed his innocence.
as reported from Kinshasa, Patient Ligodi
This decision is not aimed at just one prisoner. It is a collective goal of grace. Several dozen detainees who meet the criteria set by the judicial authorities are beneficiaries.
One of the ordinances read on national television states that any detainee who has already served 20 years in prison may be entitled to a pardon from the President. Eddy Kapend belongs to this category despite having a few days left for a total of 20 years of detention.
The former aide to Laurent-Désiré Kabila, who was originally sentenced to death, had on June 30, 2020, that his sentence was turned into a punishment for hardships for life.
NGOs demand the reopening of the trial
Deputy Attorney General Bernard Takahishe Ngumbi told RFI that Eddy Kapend will leave prison. But he must first sign the necessary decrees by order of the President.
Anyone who has been convicted and who has already served a 20-year sentence is entitled to a pardon from the President. Now he [Eddy Kapend ndlr] there are in this criterion people who had already served their sentence of 20 years. He is therefore entitled to this forgiveness from the President.
Congolese Deputy Minister of Justice Bernard Takahishe Ngumbi on pardon for Eddy Kapend
This case is far from over. According to several human rights NGOs, the truth about the perpetrators of this murder is not yet known and justice has not yet been done. For example, Voix des sans Voix has always called for the reopening of this lawsuit.
We must absolutely reopen this trial so that the real perpetrators of this assassination of a President of the Republic in the full exercise of his functions are effectively accountable for their actions.
Rostin Manketa, CEO of Voix des Sans Voix
►Listen too: Archives d’Afrique – Portrait of Laurent-Désiré Kabila (1/12)