Six men were sentenced to life imprisonment in Kinshasa on Friday for the murder of Italian Ambassador Luca Attanasio, his bodyguard and a driver in February 2021, in the eastern Democratic Republic of congo.
The death penalty had been requested by the public prosecutor but was not accepted by the military court of the Kinshasa-Gombe garrison, which rendered its decision in open court. The defense immediately announced that it would appeal. Another trial should therefore take place before a military court. The six convicts had been on trial since October 12, generally at the rate of one hearing per week, inside the Ndolo military prison. Five of them are detained in this prison, the 6th being on the run. Prosecuted for “murder, criminal association, illegal possession of weapons and ammunition of war”, they were found guilty of the murder on February 22, 2021 of the Italian ambassador to the DRC, Luca Attanasio, of his Italian bodyguard , rifleman Vittorio Iacovacci, and a Congolese World Food Program (WFP) driver, Mustapha Milambo. The three men were shot dead after falling into an ambush near the Virunga National Park, in the province of North Kivu (east), a region plagued by violence from armed groups for nearly 30 years. The defendants present, who had been arrested in January 2022 in North Kivu, denied the facts throughout the trial, systematically contesting their initial testimonies before the investigators and claiming to have been tortured. The court also awarded the Republic of Italy the equivalent in Congolese francs of two million dollars in damages. What do you think of this article?