In accordance with his lawyer, presidential candidate Jean-Marc Kabund was discovered responsible on 12 counts, together with disseminating unfaithful rumours and defaming the top of state, and was sentenced to seven years in jail.
Kabund, a longtime pal of President Felix Tshisekedi and a former vice chairman of parliament, began his personal political get together final yr after the 2 parted methods.
Since his arrest in August 2022 for criticising his authorities and calling Tshisekedi a “danger” in a speech, he has been detained in Kinshasa’s largest jail.
“The court sentenced him to four months each for the first nine offences and 16 months each for the last three,” Kabund’s lawyer Kadi Diko advised Reuters, including that essentially the most severe offences have been “spreading false rumours” and “contempt for head of state and parliament”.
“This is an extremely harsh decision, especially as there is no appeal,” the lawyer added.
Kabund was not current for the decision, however in a listening to final month defended himself and repeated his remarks.
“I have asked the people to do everything in their power to ensure that Mr Tshisekedi is excluded from the next elections, because I believe that the country is in great danger under his leadership,” he advised the court docket in August.
On December 20, there’ll possible be a basic election in Congo, and Tshisekedi will most likely run for re-election. Earlier than the vote, political tensing has elevated.
Whereas opposition teams have launched violent protests criticising flaws in voter registration, an opposition spokesman was shot lifeless within the capital Kinshasa in July.
One among Congo’s highest tribunals, the Court docket of Cassation, which doesn’t settle for appeals, punished Kabund.
He had stated that he’ll lead his “Alliance for Change” get together and compete for president within the 2018 election.
“The presidency is in no way concerned by court decisions,” stated Tina Salama, spokesperson for Tshisekedi. “It is neither a plaintiff nor a civil party in this case and therefore cannot comment on it.”
(With company inputs)