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A TRIAL OF SHAME: Visibly Ailed Salomon Kalonda Takes Stand As Defense Team Ask Court To Declare Itself Incompetent

The case involving lead Opposition Ensemble Pour la Republique leader Moïse Katumbi’s special advisor Salomon Kalonda Della continued this morning as he appeared before the Gombe Military Court in Kinshasa.

Visibly weak and ill, Kalonda arrived at the Military Court in an ambulance having spent the past days at a medical facility receiving treatment.

The defendant’s counsel appealed for a denial of jurisdiction at the military prosecutor’s office arguing that the court was out of order for two main reasons.

Kalonda’s lawyers asked the military court to declare itself incompetent for bringing a a civilian, Kalonda, he cannot be before a military court.

They argued Kalonda being a civilian, could not be subjected to appear before a Military Court because this jurisdiction is only stipulated to trial soldiers a certain ranks.

The Defense lawyers further raised an objection to which they requested the nullity of the reports drawn up by the public prosecutor against Kalonda because of the court’s irregularities.

“Our client does not have the status of military or similar, therefore could not be translated as towards you: First clarification. Second clarification, how could a civilian be subject to the Military Court? Because even the military, any soldier is not liable to the Military Court, let alone a civilian of his status. You will therefore decline your competence because you are on the basis of personal competence. It will therefore please the Court to receive the brief developed here and to declare itself materially incompetent (…) If by impossibility, the Court declares itself competent, it will nevertheless annul all the proceedings established for violation of the substantial notices and violation of the law”, argued a lawyer for the accused before the High Court.

The case has since been adjourned to Monday, 25 September with the defense counsel lawyers set to continue contest of the accusations made against Kalonda and the move to continue keeping him in detention.

Kalonda was arrested on May 30 on the runway of the N’djili International Airport in Kinshasa and is accused of conspiring with M23 rebels to overthrow Tshisekedi as well as keeping contact with officials from Rwandan army with the aim of militarily attacking the DR Congo.



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