Congo-Kinshasa: Court Releases Ex-Tshisekedi Aide After 20-Month Detention

Vital Kamerhe, the former chief of staff of Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi, has been granted provisional release after 20 months in detention.

According to local media reports, it is a provisional freedom granted by court over his "critical" health condition.

Serving as chief of staff to the President at the time of his arrest, Mr Kamerhe became the most senior politician to face trial for graft in DRC.

He has been in detention since April 8, 2020, serving a 20-year sentence for embezzling public funds meant for the construction of houses for the Congolese military under the social housing project initiated by the Congolese president.

In June 2021, his sentence was reduced to 13 years' imprisonment.

He was imprisoned at Makala central prison in Kinshasa from where he was transferred to a hospital in Kinshasa for medical treatment, before the court released him provisionally.

Even after sentencing, he had reiterated his loyalty to President Tshisekedi.

A veteran power broker, Kamerhe backed Tshisekedi in his successful 2018 election campaign.

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