Chief of staff to DR Congo president sentenced to 20 years in jail for graft
London, June 20, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The Democratic Republic of Congo’s high court on Saturday found the president’s chief of staff guilty of embezzling $48 million in public funds and sentenced him to 20 years in jail, the lead judge said.
READ ALSO: US IMPOSES VISA RESTRICTION ON BURUNDI
“From everything we have heard, the court has established as fact the offence of embezzlement of public funds relating to the amount of $48,831,148,” said presiding Judge Pierrot Bankenge Mvita wearing a mask and rubber gloves.
Kamerhe denies stealing money earmarked for social housing under President Felix Tshisekedi’s flagship 100-day building programme.
The veteran power broker appeared at the three-hour outdoor court hearing in a blue and yellow prison jacket and also wore a mask to protect against the coronavirus.
Kamerhe backed Tshisekedi in his successful 2018 election campaign in return for Tshisekedi’s support the next time around in 2023.
His arrest on April 8 sent shock waves through the country’s ruling coalition and the nation.
Last week the justice minister revealed that the former presiding judge, who was originally said to have died of a heart attack last month, was actually brutally murdered.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)