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UNFAIR TRIAL FOR EDITOR'S ASSASSINS

Journalist in Danger (Journaliste en danger, JED) has expressed its disappointment over the "incomplete" trial held last week for the alleged assassins of a journalist and his wife, which resulted in two defendants being sentenced to death.

Franck Ngyke, editor of the daily paper "La Référence Plus", and his wife Hélène Mpaka, were reportedly shot at point blank range on the night of 2 November 2005 in their home in Mombele.

A military court pronounced on 13 April that Joel Munganda, Papy Munongo and Didier Awatimbine were guilty of the double assassination. Munganda and Munongo were given the death penalty; Awatimbine was sentenced to life in prison.

But the trial "did not allow the whole truth to come out" about the motives of the double assassination, JED says. According to JED and the defence lawyers, the police and military investigation did not go far enough, the real motives remain unknown, and the court refused to hear from numerous witnesses who said there was someone else behind the murder.

The defendants have five days to appeal.

Visit these links:
- JED: http://www.jed-afrique.org/full_view.php?id_alerte=656
- Previous alerts: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/82449
(17 April 2007)

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