Former President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Joseph Kabila plans to sue a news organization and a group of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for what he calls an act of defamation and manipulation over an alleged report that he stole $138 million over five years.
In a report titled Congo Hold-up, the French online investigative media Mediapart and the NGO “Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF)” implicate Kabila and his clan in the scandal involving over 3.5 million confidential bank documents.
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Lawyers for Kabila have stated that they will be taking the case to court.
“The authors of the said report (Congo Hold-up) published by extract found no element, no precise and conclusive act concerning the honorary president of the republic,” Joseph Kabila’s lawyer Raphal Nyabirungu said.
“Following the serious and intentional violation of his fundamental rights as a citizen, our client reserves the right to seize the competent judicial authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo and abroad on an ongoing basis to ensure that justice is served,” the lawyer added.
Kabila’s close allies and supporters have vowed to defend the former president against any tarnishing attack.
“You are aware that Kabila is a nationalist, that he opposes imperialism, that he has worked with dignity for his people, so he is not welcome among these people (the capitalists).” But we, as Congolese, as convinced Kabilists, will defend him to the last drop of blood as Congolese,” said Joseph Kokonyangi of the Common Front for Congo, a pro-Kabila member.
The European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) network coordinated the analysis of this report by 19 international media and five non-governmental organizations over a six-month period.