Raphael Yanyi, the president of the Kinshasa district court, died suddenly and mysteriously on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday in Kinshasa. The death of the magistrate in charge of the trial Vital Kamerhe, director of cabinet of President Tshisekedi, surprised everyone in the DRC.
With our correspondent in Kinshasa, Ligodi patient
Relatives said he had started his day normally, but it was around 4 p.m. that the first signs of weakness were noticed. Her health deteriorated further in the evening. Raphael Yanyi was transferred to the hospital around 9 p.m. when he died. Will there be an autopsy? In any case, this is the request of part of the family, but no decision has yet been made.
After the announcement of his death, the situation was tense around the judge’s residence. Young people were mobilized this morning. Barricades had been placed before the police deployed and used tear gas to disperse the dozen protesters.
On social media too, it’s runaway. Everyone gets their comment. We note, for example, the call of the citizen movement Lucha who asked that all the light be shed on this case of death. There is also the call of Hervé Diakese, lawyer and activist member of the standing Congolese movement who declares: To honor his memory is also to continue without stopping all these legal actions around the “100 days program “”.
Given the circumstances, the questions are legitimate. It is in the interest of Justice and all parties to the trial #Kamerhe & Crts that the cause of the death of judge Raphaël Yunyi be determined scientifically, by an independent and credible structure. 2/2
LUCHA 🇨🇩 (@luchaRDC) May 27, 2020
No procedural change for the case
The first consequence of this death will be the appointment of a new judge. According to judicial sources, when a member of the composition is deceased, the president of the court appoints a new judge. Secondly, all the minutes of the two hearings which took place in this case will be re-read.
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The other question is who will be the presiding judge in the case. If the one who enters has the same seniority as the one who died, the new judge will become the presiding judge, but this is quite rare. The most plausible hypothesis would be to take the more senior of the two judges. A priori, in the procedural sense, there will be no impact on the rest of the trial, but on a psychological level, losing the presiding judge when we know that the previous hearing was tense, could leave traces.