In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the upcoming fourth hearing in the case of Stanis Bujakera is scheduled for November 17th. During the hearing on Friday, November 3rd, at the central prison of Makala, the legal team representing Stanis Bujakera, the deputy editor of Actualité.CD and a correspondent for Jeune Afrique, once again submitted a request for his provisional release to the High Court of Kinshasa/Gombe. Stanis has been in detention since September 8th.
Stanis Bujakera is facing charges related to the alleged dissemination of a “false document” attributed to the National Intelligence Agency (ANR). This article, published in Jeune Afrique but not authored by Stanis, details the alleged involvement of the Military Intelligence Service in the assassination of the lawmaker and opposition figure Chérubin Okende.
The legal counsel for Stanis Bujakera contends that there is no reason to fear his client’s flight. They emphasized before the court the exemplary conduct displayed by the journalist since his arrest and his consistent cooperation.
Furthermore, they argue that there is still a lack of substantial evidence pointing to his guilt. Consequently, they pleaded for their client’s appearance at the upcoming hearing as a free individual.
Regarding the substance of the case, the Prosecution once again asserted that the journalist is the author of the document, which the prosecution deems fake. They even accuse the journalist of forging the seal affixed to this document.
On the other hand, the defense has refuted these accusations and formally requested a counter-expertise. They have even proposed the appointment of two experts specializing in espionage and digital surveillance, one Congolese and the other international, to examine, among other things, the IP address attributed to Stanis Bujakera by the prosecution.
According to the defense, this IP address was traced to Europe and was never used by the journalist.
The court has taken the matter under deliberation and will issue its decision within 48 hours concerning the request for provisional release. The decision on whether or not to appoint independent experts will be rendered on November 17th.