DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Journalist released on bail after 35 days of 11-month prison sentence


February 15, 2007
Original Case: January 11, 2007

Rigobert Kwakala Kash,
Le Moniteur

Editor Kash of the private bi-weekly was provisionally released on 30,000 Congolese francs (US$70) bail after serving 35 days of an 11-month prison sentence for defamation at Kinshasa’s Penitentiary and Correctional Center, he later told CPJ.

A date for his appeal had not been set yet, defense lawyer Laurent Kalengi told CPJ, but the journalist stood by his reporting and was prepared to provide proof of his allegations.

Le Moniteur is now publishing, after a six-week suspension by the governmental High Authority on Media over articles critical of the former provincial governor, according to Kash.

Kash was arrested on a court order at his residence by armed special police agents, over articles alleging corrupt practices in the administration of former southeastern Bas-Congo Governor Jacques Badu Situ, the journalist said. The arrest was marred by judicial irregularities, according to Kalengi.

For more information on this case, see CPJ’s January 11 alert.