DRC: Measures for Better Justice After Accusations of Fraudulent Releases

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The President of the DRC, Felix Tshisekedi, has established toll-free numbers to report instances of ill-treatment, violence, corruption, fraud, or extortion by dishonest magistrates. After the trial against kidnappers in Kinshasa, magistrates were accused of misconduct and the illegal release of criminals. Tshisekedi has identified justice as a major challenge during his first five-year term and is taking steps to address the issue.

Firmin M’vonde, the Attorney General at the Court of Cassation, brought together all the officials of the capital’s prosecutor’s offices earlier this week. From now on, the two public prosecutor’s offices near the courts of appeal of Kinshasa are placed under the permanent inspection of the general prosecutor near the court of cassation.

As for the public prosecutor’s offices, reputed to send many detainees to prison, they are placed under inspection by the public prosecutor’s offices.

The head of the Congolese prosecutor’s office firmly warns and “Arrest today and release the next day will be severely punished”.

To fight against certain arbitrary arrests, but also against releases that are akin to extortion, the Attorney General has prohibited, unless expressly waived on his part, the execution of arrest warrants on weekends, Sundays, and public holidays.

From now on, a regular check will have to be carried out with the prison administration to prevent fraudulent releases which mainly occur during the execution of presidential pardon measures.

This strengthening of control and monitoring has been welcomed by human rights organizations. For the NGO Justicia, dishonest magistrates often benefit from political support and these measures will remain ineffective without any real desire to sanction any type of abuse.

Soukaina Sghir

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