Kabila fires over 250 ‘fake’, corrupt judges

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This story is from the AFP

The Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday sacked more than 250 magistrates who did not have a law degree or were accused of corruption.

President Joseph Kabila has “sanctioned more than 200 individuals who do not fulfil the conditions to function as magistrates,” Justice Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba said on public television.

Press reports said a total of 256 were either suspended or sacked, two others resigned while another was put on retirement.

The sprawling country counts some 4 000 magistrates.

“One cannot enter the judiciary with the objective of making money,” the justice minister said, describing the targeted individuals as “adventurers” who entered the judiciary without a law degree or others who took bribes to deliver a favourable ruling.

“It is evident that there are other magistrates who escaped this dragnet,” he said, adding that a law would be introduced to raise the bar for aspiring magistrates.

In 2009, Kabila sacked 96 judges accused of corruption, a scourge in the mineral-rich country, including within the government.

Thambwe Mwamba also rapped the slow judicial system and said arrests and detentions were used as “an instrument of intimidation and terror against the accused to strip them of their assets.”