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Eleven months after his death, journalist's killers face trial

(JED/IFEX) - On 1 June 2007, the trial of the presumed assassins of Bapuwa Mwamba got underway at the Kinshasa/Matete Military Tribunal. Mwamba, an independent journalist, was killed in his Kinshasa home during the night of 8 July 2006.

Four people are facing charges of "murder, illegal possession of firearms, criminal conspiracy and armed robbery". The suspects include Vungu Mbembo, an army deserter, Nkunku Makwala, Mangwene Lowayi and Suami Sambu.

At the opening of the first hearing, the presiding judge Captain Gaby Lokombi Lotomba, read the charges against the defendants, and scheduled the next hearing for 13 June 2007.

Bapuwa Mwamba was a correspondent for several Kinshasa newspapers. He was killed by three armed men, who broke into his home through the back door. He was shot at point-blank range on his left leg and bled to death.

On 31 July 2006, at Kinshasa's provincial police headquarters, three of the four presumed assassins were introduced to the press. At the time of the arrest, several objects in their possession were seized, including a loaded gun, presented by the police as the crime weapon.

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