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BUJAKERA TRIAL: Legal Defense Team Renew Request For Provisional Release of Detained Journalist

Detained journalist Stanis Bujakera’s lawyers have re-submitted the request for the provisional release of their client who has now spent close to two months in the authorities.

At the hearing held today 3rd November at the Gombe High Court in Kinshasa, Bujakera’s defense legal team renewed their submission for the authorities to release the Reuters correspondent on bail.

The lawyers’ initial request, submitted at the last hearing on 20 October, was rejected by the authorities extending Bujakera’s unlawful detention at Makala Central Prison.

“We have renewed the provisional release request of our client Stanis Bujakera, we have formally written because 15 days have already passed since the last hearing where our request was rejected. We renewed it in writing to the court which took it under advisement” one of Bujakera’s lawyers Ndikulu Yana said in an interview.

Meanwhile, the legal defense team has also requested for the appointment of two counter-experts to assist in the case with a second opinion.

“And we asked that we be able to appoint counter-experts. We asked for two experts: Gary Miller, Canadian expert in the fight against digital espionage and Emmanuel Gontcho, Congolese expert and general director of the G&G agency,” Yana said.

The court is set to decide on the request for second opinion on November 17 while the re-submitted request for provisional release is expected to be replied to by next Monday.

“The court will rule within 48 hours on the request for provisional release, that is to say by Monday at the latest. He must decide by November 17, the date of the next hearing, on the request for a second opinion,” explained Me Jean-Marie Kabengela.

Arrested on September 8 at N’djili International Airport in Kinshasa, Bujakera is being prosecuted for a “false document” attributed to the ANR, on the basis of which an article in Jeune Afrique, which he had not published, traces the role that played the military intelligence service in the assassination of former Transport Minister Chérubin Okende.

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