Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live

News

news

Cameroonian prosecutors wind up probe into the murder of Martinez Zogo

Cameroonians eulogizing the murdered journalist Martinez Zogo   -  
Copyright © africanews
AP Photo

Cameroon's Anglophone Crisis

The Yaoundé military court in Cameroon on Friday closed their judicial investigation into the murder of journalist and former director of radio amplitude FM, Martinez Zogo who died just over a year ago.

The trial will now open in the coming weeks according to the counter-espionage service. The twenty or so accused have all been referred to the court on various charges.

In Cameroon, the end of this judicial investigation comes just five days after five of the detainees had their charges reclassified. Three members of the DGRE, Cameroon's counter-espionage service, will be prosecuted for "assassination".

The businessman and the head of the Direction générale de la recherche extérieure (DGRE) are accused of having played a role in the death of the director of radio Amplitude FM, whose tortured body was discovered on the outskirts of Yaoundé in January. Zogo had not been missing for five days before his remains were located January 22 near Soa, a suburb of Yaoundé.

Léopold Maxime Eko Eko is suspected of "having provoked in any way whatsoever the torture of Martinez Zogo or given instructions to commit it", in the words of the examining magistrate. In the course of the investigation, the intelligence chief was questioned several times on the substance of the case. In particular, he was confronted by his sole accuser, Justin Danwe, as well as several agents working within the DGRE at the time of the events.

Among the incriminating elements that interested the investigators: the holding of a meeting during which Léopold Maxime Eko Eko, Justin Danwe and several DGRE technicians allegedly listened to an audio tape attributed to Martinez Zogo, in which he allegedly made defamatory remarks about the head of the intelligence services.

In the minutes of the release order, quoted by jeune Afrique, the magistrates noted that Eko Eko, Danwe and the witnesses cited had assured them "that a meeting had never been held at the situation center with the journalist Martinez Zogo as the subject".

Outrage over Zogo's murder

The murder of Salomon Mbani Zogo better known as Martinez Zogo left many shocked in Cameroon as NGOs continued to call out violations of press freedom and freedom of speech.

The man in hius fifties was the host of popular daily radio show, Embouteillage or Gridlock in English. On the air, he regularly tackled cases of corruption and alleged embezzlement, not hesitating to question important personalities by name. Amougou Belinga was one of them. The businessman is reputedly a friend of several ministers.

Fellow journalists paid their respects to Zogo and called for an investigation which Cameroonian President Paul Biya ordered on Thursday, February 2. The probe into the abduction and subsequent brutal killing of the journalist led to the arrests of Jean-Pierre Amougou Belinga and Léopold Maxime Eko Eko.

Reporters without Borders alleged that "the outcome of the investigations [remained] very uncertain as the affair’s ramifications reach up to the highest level of the state while the political environment [was] described by several local sources as verging on insurrection."