Military justice has handed down two separate judgements in Ituri in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The High Military Court sentenced five soldiers (including two colonels) to the “death penalty” in a case involving the murder of two Chinese nationals in March. The two colonels were accused of planning an attack on a convoy carrying Chinese workers at a gold mine, with the aim of stealing the money and gold carried by the victims. Two people were killed and one injured in the attack.
This judgment was also handed down at first instance, namely that the death penalty is not applied in the DRC and is systematically replaced by life imprisonment. Thus these soldiers sentenced to death were disbarred from the army.
In another judgement, a lieutenant colonel and two Congolese soldiers were sentenced to the “death penalty” by the DRC’s highest military court in a case of theft of military ammunition.
Other soldiers and civilians prosecuted in this case and sentenced to death at first instance had their sentences reduced to prison terms.