- Title: Congo opens investigation into ex-minister over death of U.N employee
- Date: 23rd May 2017
- Summary: KINSHASA, DRC (MAY 23, 2017) (REUTERS) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC) ATTORNEY GENERAL, FLORY NUMBI, AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (French) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO ATTORNEY GENERAL, FLORY NUMBI, SAYING: "The New York Times confirmed in its daily that the U.N. expert Zaida Catalan, murdered last March with her American colleague Michael Sharp, had an audio recording of a national deputy - the honourable Clement Kanku - in a telephone conversation with one of the suspects of crimes in Kasai. The nature and the circumstances of that conversation cannot leave me, an officer of the public ministry, indifferent. That is why this Monday May 22, 2017 I have opened an investigation to find out more." JOURNALISTS AT NEWS CONFERENCE CAMERAMAN AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (French) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO ATTORNEY GENERAL, FLORY NUMBI, SAYING: "If at the end of this investigation, I am convinced that the facts are established regarding the relevant charges, (Kanku) would be charged with participation in an insurrectional movement, assassination, voluntary arson, malicious destruction and association with criminals." NUMBI LEAVING FORMER MINISTER, DEPUTY CLEMENT KANKU, ARRIVING TO MAKE STATEMENT (SOUNDBITE) (French) FORMER MINISTER, DEPUTY CLEMENT KANKU, STANDING NEXT TO HIS LAWYER, M. KIKOLO, SAYING: "I am dismayed by these allegations of implications in criminal acts which I totally refute. I am convinced that all the light will be shed in this affair and that justice will be done for the many victims of abominable acts in the Kasai, including the two experts from the United Nations. For my part I will not let anyone, anyone, with whatever tactic, to sully either my image or the memory of these many victims who are waiting for reparation. I thank you." KANKU LEAVING
- Embargoed: 6th June 2017 17:45
- Keywords: Clement Kanku Flory Numbi Michael Sharp Zaid Catalan Kasai violence Congo
- Location: KINSHASA, DRC
- City: KINSHASA, DRC
- Country: Congo, Democratic Republic of
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Crime
- Reuters ID: LVA0016I29W07
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Congo's attorney general Flory Numbi said on Tuesday (May 23) that he had opened an investigation into former minister Clement Kanku over allegations he played a role in the militia violence in central Congo that a U.N. employee was investigating when she was killed.
His announcement followed a report by The New York Times on Saturday (May 20) that Zaida Catalan, a U.N. investigator killed in March in central Democratic Republic of Congo, had a recording of a phone call between ex-development minister Clement Kanku and a presumed militia member.
In it, the newspaper reported, Kanku is heard speaking approvingly of violence perpetrated by the Kamuina Nsapu militia, whose insurrection against government forces in the Kasai region has resulted in hundreds of deaths and displaced more than a million people since last July 2016.
Kanku rejected all the allegations in a later news conference.
Attorney General Flory Numbi announced the government investigation to reporters in the capital Kinshasa, saying he had written to the National Assembly to request permission to conduct preliminary searches of Kanku's property because he enjoys immunity as a member of parliament.
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