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Martinez Zongo's murder investigation closed, 17 face trial

Martinez Zongo's murder investigation closed, 17 face trial

Paru le mardi, 05 mars 2024 14:35

The investigation into the death of radio host Martinez Zogo, who was found dead in Ebogo, a district of the university town of Soa, in January 2023, has officially concluded. Lieutenant-Colonel Narcisse Perrin Nzié, the examining magistrate of the Yaoundé Military Court, issued a committal order on February 29, 2024, summoning 17 individuals for various reasons ahead of a trial date yet to be specified.

Three agents of Cameroon’s counter-espionage service, the Direction générale de la recherche extérieure (DGRE), are among those accused of murdering the radio host. According to the magistrate, location data revealed that after the initial operation (arrest and torture), Tongue Nana, accompanied by Daouda and Lamfu Jonhson, returned to Ebogo for a second operation that resulted in Zogo’s death.

The referral order indicates that this second operation, which led to Zogo’s death by strangulation, was coordinated by Lieutenant-Colonel Justin Danwe, then Director of Operations of the DGRE, and Martin Savom, Mayor of the Bibey commune. They, along with others involved in the first operation, face charges of complicity in murder, arrest and sequestration, torture, and violation of instructions.

Businessman Jean Pierre Amougou Belinga and Police Commissioner Léopold Maxime Eko Eko, who was the head of the DGRE at the time of the incident, are facing charges of complicity in torture in connection with Martinez Zogo's death. The charges against Eko Eko stem from claims by several DGRE employees that he had ordered surveillance of Zogo since 2015 as part of a case called “presse”. Belinga is implicated due to his meetings with Justin Danwé before and after the operation, according to the committal order.

Additional DGRE agents, journalist Bruno Bidjang, an identity thief, and a car rental company manager are also among the 17 defendants currently incarcerated for their roles in the events leading to Zogo’s murder. Most defendants face potential life sentences.

The lawyer for Zogo’s beneficiaries, Calvin Job, expressed partial satisfaction, stating, “There can be no distinction between the accused. Martinez Zogo is dead, and there are perpetrators and sponsors. The only possible qualification is murder.” Meanwhile, Eko Eko’s lawyers issued a statement criticizing their client’s investigation, and Charles Tchoungang, former President of the Bar, continues to assert the innocence of his client, Amougou Belinga.

Ludovic Amara  

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