KINSHASA, Congo — The trial of 20 defendants suspected in the deaths of two U.N. experts has re-opened in Kananga, the capital of Congo’s Kasai Central province where the killings took place.
Jean-Rene Tshimanga, a civic leader in Kasai Central, said that there are four main suspects among the 20 defendants. He said the judge is identifying the new defendants Monday. The trial, which began in June 2017, was suspended in October.
The bodies of American Michael Sharp, Swedish national Zaida Catalan and a Congolese interpreter Betu Tshintela were found in March 2017 after they went missing while investigating human rights abuses.
Congo’s government blames the Kamwina Nsapu militia active in central Congo’s Kasai provinces. However, rights groups have said state security forces may have been involved, which the government denies.