Opposition candidate for the 2016 presidential election, General Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko has been found guilty for his alleged involvement in a coup attempt.
Congolese general and opposition leader Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko, 71, was on Friday sentenced to 20 years in prison “ for “undermining the internal security of the state”, after a trial he referred to as “settlement of political scores”.
The former candidate in the 2016 presidential election has three days to file an appeal, said criminal court president Christian Oba.
The court also sentenced in absentia seven co-accused including six French and a Congolese for complicity “the offense of undermining the internal security of the State”.
Arrested in June 2016. General Mokoko, former Chief of Staff, was advisor to President Denis Sassou Nguesso whom he finally challenged in the 2016 presidential election.
He was arrested in June 2016 after refusing with other candidates to recognize the re-election of President Sassou Nguesso who cumulates nearly 35 years of power.
“The decision of the criminal court does not surprise us, because everything started in an illegal manner in violation of the jurisdictional immunity of our client,” said General Mokoko’s lawyer, Eric Yvon Ibouanga.
His defense claims that he holds his immunity from his title of “dignitary of the Republic”, an argument refuted by the prosecution.
“It is a judgment that satisfies us considering the gravity of the offense and the elements involved in the case”, declared one of the lawyers of the Congolese State, Me Gérard Deviller.