Former DR Congo anti-graft chief jailed for life

A former anti-corruption chief in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been sentenced to life by a military court.

AFP reports that Abbas Kayonga was charged with rebellion and murder, quoting unnamed judicial sources.

Kayonga is reported to have been arrested by United Nations peacekeepers in the eastern city of Bukavu on November 5, just days after his dismissal for “grave negligence”.

He appeared in court alongside about 30 other people who were also charged with rebellion.

Earlier efforts by Congolese troops to arrest him had sparked deadly clashes with his bodyguards, which left six people dead before the UN troops intervened.

In a verdict reached Tuesday, the court sentenced him and 13 others to death, with the military prosecutor ordering them transferred to Kinshasa and ruling out any chance of appeal.

In DRC, life sentences are no longer carried out with the sentence automatically commuted to life.

Another 13 were jailed for between five and 20 years.

“The court found them guilty of rebellion, murder and the illegal possession of arms and weapons of war,” AFP quotes magistrate Roger Wavara.

A former rebel, Kayonga headed a body probing fraud and corruption in South Kivu, a province rich in gold, tin and coltan, which is used to make many electronic devices including mobile phones.

He was dismissed by the province’s governor on November 2.