A Member of Parliament in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Edouard Mwangachuchu Izi, was sentenced to death and fined 100 million US dollars on October 6th. He was found guilty of complicity with an insurgent movement and treason. His co-accused, Captain Mushamalirwa of the national police, was acquitted.
On Friday, October 6th, the main accused, Edouard Mwangachuchu, was not present in the courtroom. His co-accused, Captain Mushamalirwa, was present and attended the last day of this long-running trial that began in March of this year.
The Military High Court acknowledged Edouard Mwangachuchu’s participation in the M23, an insurgent movement classified as terrorist by the Kinshasa government. A weapons cache was discovered in the Masisi territory, on the property of this Member of Parliament from North Kivu, early in March. Additional weapons and war ammunition were found a few days later at his residence in Kinshasa.
The court handed down a death sentence without the possibility of parole for Edouard Mwangachuchu but did not revoke his Congolese nationality. According to the Military High Court, Edouard Mwangachuchu also holds Rwandan nationality.
Due to the current moratorium in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the death penalty is no longer carried out. Therefore, the MP’s sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment. As for Police Captain Mushamalirwa, he was simply acquitted and released immediately.