Military court hands down death sentence to two soldiers accused in journalist's murder
JED is supporting the defence's call for an appeal in the case and reiterates its demand for a full investigation into the incident that will shed light on the many murky details that remain to be clarified.
One local journalist, who asked not to be identified, told JED, "People in Béni are not satisfied by this verdict; they believe the court has just sentenced two innocent men. On two separate occasions, court officials met at the mayor's house for unexplained reasons. We believe this ruling was influenced by local authorities, and that is enough reason to cast a shadow of doubt on this whole case."
Lawyers for the defence are appealing the case on the grounds that the court did not take into account information and evidence collected at the crime scene the night of the murder.
According to another source who attended the hearings, Chebeya's wife, who remains the primary witness to her husband's murder, told the court that the appearances of the three accused did not match those of the men she saw the night of the murder. The source also told JED that the prosecution's witnesses were "merely soldiers who were part of the team that had arrested the three accused."