Democratic Republic of Congo’s president Felix Tshisekedi has pardoned 26 men convicted of the 2001 assassination of ex-president Laurent Desiré Kabila.
Ex-President Laurent Desiré Kabila was shot and killed by a bodyguard in his palace in January 2001. After that the bodyguard was himself shot dead immediately.
During procedure of the case, the prosecutors denounced that the assassination was part of a coup attempt led by Colonel Eddy Kapend, Kabila’s closest personal aide, and a court sentenced him and 26 men others to death.
The men were jailed and officials say a number have since died in prison, but none of the death sentences were not applied.
This week, President Felix Tshisekedi pardoned the men and a number of other people convicted in other cases to show humanity, pardon, justice and national reconciliation, state television reported on Thursday night.
On the side of Kabila’s son Joseph, who succeeded him, repeatedly refuse to accept calls to pardon Kapend and the others. After being replaced by Tshisekedi, a longtime opponent, He by now forgives the men.
President Tshisekedi within the first two years of his presidency in coalition with Joseph Kabila’s allies, he is now trying to detach himself from his predecessor and eliminates Kabila loyalists from the power.
But even before, Human rights activists, the Catholic Church and others had disparaged the assassination trial.
Laurent Desire Kabila’s death further marked a country with a dark history of political assassinations, including the 1961 killing of Patrice Lumumba, its first post-independence prime minister, killed by rebels with support from Belgian colonialists.