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DRC: Vital Kamerhe acquitted of embezzlement conviction

Democratic Republic of Congo's politician Vital Kamerhe attends a press conference on November 11, 2018 in Geneva,   -  
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Democratic Republic Of Congo

Vital Kamerhe, DRC's president Tshisekedi's former chief of staff has won his battle. Sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2020 for embezzling around 50 million dollars, the politician was totally cleared on appeal on Thursday. His co-accused, Lebanese businessman Sanoh Jammal was also acquitted.

The Kinshasa-Gombe Court of Appeal said lack of evidence was the reason for its decision.

Since 2020 Kamerhe was accused of misappropriating an envelope allocated to the construction of houses for the military and police, which was part of a programme implemented by President Tshisekedi. Kamerhe was the right-hand man of Félix Tshisekedi between 2018 and 2019. His 20 year sentence was reduced to 13 years in prison on appeal in June 2021. In December 2021, he was granted provisional release.

Following this verdict, his politcal party the Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC) organised gatherings in Bukavu, his stronghold in the East.

The 63 year-old is now free to run in DRC's upcoming 2023 elections.

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