Sentenced to twenty years in prison for embezzlement of nearly 50 million dollars, Vital Kamerhe, former chief of staff and ally of the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Félix Tshisekedi, was “completely acquitted” Thursday, June 23 on appeal, his lawyer, Jean-Marie Kabengela, told AFP: “There is no evidence against him. This case is definitely over.”, did he declare. Convicted in the same trial, the Lebanese businessman Samir Jammal was also “acquitted by the Kinshasa/Gombe Court of Appeal”said his lawyer, Tshitsha Bokolombe.
Former President of the National Assembly, Vital Kamerhe, 63, was sentenced in April 2020 to twenty years in prison for embezzlement of nearly 50 million dollars allocated for the construction of prefabricated houses for soldiers and police officers, in the part of a program that was to launch the mandate of President Tshisekedi. This sentence was reduced to thirteen years in prison on appeal in June 2021. During the hearings, his lawyers denounced “a political trial to prevent him from running” in the 2023 elections.
In December, the Court of Cassation granted him conditional release for health reasons, allowing him to travel to France. She had also quashed the thirteen-year prison sentence taken by the Court of Appeal, asking the latter, made up of other judges, to retry the case. In 2018, Mr. Kamerhe had withdrawn in favor of Mr. Tshisekedi at the end of the presidential campaign and, according to an agreement between the two men, was to be a candidate for the next election, scheduled for the end of 2023.