DRC: Investigative reporter held for 34 days over corruption story

JANUARY 9, 2008

Posted February 21, 2008

Maurice Kayombo, Les Grands EnjeuxIMPRISONED

Police in the capital Kinshasa picked up Kayombo, a reporter for the private monthly Les Grands Enjeux, after he went to the office of Mining Ministry Permanent Secretary Christophe Kaninio to seek comments about allegations of corruption for a story that had not been published yet, according to his lawyer and local press freedom group Journaliste en Danger.

Police officials pressed Kayombo to reveal his sources and evidence that would back allegations of extortion of government diamond contracts by Kaninio, the journalist told CPJ. A magistrate court later charged Kayombo with “harmful accusations and attempted blackmail,” and transferred him to prison, according to defense lawyer Godefroid Kabongo. Kabongo was acquitted because of insufficient evidence against him and was freed on February 12, he told CPJ.