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Three suspects in journalist's killing sentenced to death

(JED/IFEX) - Journalist in Danger (JED) takes note of the death sentence handed down on 4 May 2010 by the Bukavu military court to three men accused of gunning down Radio Okapi journalist Didace Namujimbo.

Radio Okapi is a joint project of the UN Mission in the Congo (MONUC) and the Swiss foundation Hirondelle.

Namujimbo was killed on 21 November 2008 in Bukavu, the capital of the eastern province of Sud-Kivu. The three alleged killers have been convicted of murder and criminal conspiracy.

The accused are Officer Tshenda Oscar, First Sergeant Major Seba Tandem and civilian Mushamuka Bashengezi. The two soldiers have been dismissed from the army.

Seven other military defendants, including Sergeant Kini Bagabo, Corporal Bahati Zozo, Corporal Mabodo Elenga, Lieutenant Mazon Kasongo, Chief Officer Mulungu Kapenda, Corporal Mabogo Elenga and Lieutenant Roger Satulungu, were sentenced to terms ranging from 16 months to five years for desertion, disobeying orders, counterfeiting and forgery. The other accused soldiers and civilians were acquitted by the Bukavu military court.

The court also awarded damages to Namujimbo's widow in the sum of US$500,000 and US$250,000 for the family, to be paid by the Congolese government on behalf of the accused.

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