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Assassination of the Italian ambassador: the military court postpones the case to March 1st

Kinshasa, February 23th, 2023 (CPA).- The military tribunal of the Kinshasa/Gombe garrison, sitting in the first degree in the case of the assassination of the Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lucas Attanasio, and his two companions, declared itself sufficiently enlightened, after four months of instruction, before fixing the case for Wednesday 3 March.

« It emerges from the videos taken by the OPJ during the preparatory investigation in Goma and viewed at the hearing held this Wednesday at the military prison of Ndolo in Kinshasa, that the Italian diplomat, his bodyguard, Victtorio Lacovacis and his driver Mustapha Milambo, had been killed on February 22nd, 2021 in an ambush on the outskirts of the Virunga National Park, The court, presided over by Major Magistrate Freddy Eume Mpia, concluded, after debate between the parties to the trial, before adjourning the case to Wednesday 1 March 2023, to receive the requisition of the prosecution and the pleadings of the lawyers.

According to the court, the defendants are Prince Marco Shimiyimana, André Murwanashaka Mushahara, Issa Sebanyani, Antoine Bahati Kiboko and Samuel Amidu Sembinya Babu, alias Ombeni.

Designated by his co-defendants as the one who shot at the three victims during the exchange of fire with the park’s eco-guards, the defendant Prince Marco, who nevertheless recognised his face on the videos, questioned all the statements he had freely made, speaking of a montage.

The defendants, all members of the M23 armed and terrorist group, were arrested by the DRC’s defence and security services.

The Italian ambassador to the DRC, Luca Attanasio, 43, died on February 22nd, 2021 in Kibumba, Nyiragongo territory, North Kivu, after being shot and wounded when the World Food Program (WFP) convoy in which he was travelling was ambushed on the outskirts of Virunga National Park.

His Italian bodyguard, Carabiniere Vittorio Lacovacci, and a Congolese WFP driver, Mustapha Milambo, were also killed.

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