Trial Begins for the Murder of Journalist Martinez Zogo in Cameroon

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The highly anticipated trial for the assassination of journalist Martinez Zogo, former director of an urban radio station in Yaoundé, has commenced. Zogo was found dead at the end of January 2023, his body bearing signs of severe abuse, discovered about twenty kilometers from the capital’s outskirts. The case sparked immense outrage in Cameroon, with 17 individuals standing as defendants.

The majority of the accused are agents of the DGRE, Cameroon’s intelligence services. Some of these agents are facing charges of “murder.” Léopold Maxime Eko Eko, former head of this unit, is also among the defendants, facing charges of “complicity in torture,” along with Lieutenant Colonel Justin Danwe, who served as the director of operations until his arrest in the initial days of the investigation in January 2023.

In addition to these defendants with military backgrounds, there are also civilians, including journalist Bruno Bidjang, the managing director of media group l’Anecdote, and notably his employer, the controversial businessman Jean-Pierre Amougou Belinga, who, like Maxime Eko Eko, is accused of “complicity in torture.”

Arrested almost nine months after the investigation began, Martin Stéphane Savom was, until recently, the mayor of Bibey commune. He stands accused of “complicity in murder.”

The trial, commencing this Monday at the military court in Yaoundé, will seek to establish the connections, if any, between these individuals and their potential roles in orchestrating, torturing, and causing the death of the journalist who was on the airwaves of Amplitude FM, an outspoken critic of corruption and embezzlement of public funds.


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