Judgement RPA 2938: Prosecutor against the accused Murhula Bisimwa
In a statement made and registered at the registry of the Appeals Court of Bukavu on the 3 rd
November 2009, Master Marius MUSEMA, lawyer of the Bar of Bukavu and holding special
powers of attorney given to him by Mr. MURHULA BISIMWA on the 28th February 2009,
appealed the Judgement delivered on the 25th July 2009 by the Court of First Instance of
Bukavu under R.O. 12412, deeming it ill-advised; said Judgement found established in factual
and legal matter the offense of rape while using violence attributed to the accused,
sentencing him to 8 years of imprisonment and to the payment of a fine set at 800.000
Congolese Francs or equivalent sixty days of detention in case of non-payment within the
legal deadline; to pay the victim three milk cows or their net worth estimated to be equivalent
in Congolese Francs to the amount of 1500 USD and the proceedings' fees at a reduced rate
or face 30 days of detention in the case of non-payment within the legal deadline.
The case was appealed, argued and taken into deliberation at the public hearing of the 24 th
December 2009, in which the accused was present in person, assisted by his above
mentioned counselor, in due process.
The procedure is in conformity with the law.
Regarding the admissibility of the accused's appeal, the Court notes that the 1 st Judge had
closed the arguments in the hearing of the 1st July 2009; that he pronounced his Judgement
on the 25th July 2009, thus beyond the deadline and that this Judgement was not
communicated to the accused. The Court shall then receive the latter's appeal, for it is in
conformity with the law;
From the documents on file and the elements gathered in the investigation, it follows that the
facts in question have remained the same. In the month of June 2008, the accused courted
the girl BAKITA Déogratias, born on the 16th August 1994 and student of the 4th primary year,
with whom he had sexual intercourse during the same period. Following that, the girl became
Thus, the accused presented himself to her family to recognize being responsible for her
pregnancy and after he took the victim under his roof. Reproaching the accused for a certain
negligence in the necessary care to be given to the girl, given her condition, Madame TAMISI
ASSA, her mother, called the police department responsible for the protection of children and
thus began the litigation against the accused, during which the latter recognized having had
sexual intercourse with Miss BAKITA Deogratias; that he claims is his wife, adding that he
ignored her age and it is under these conditions that the accused was declared guilty.
In his grounds of appeal, the accused asks the Court to receive his appeal, to nullify the work
of the 1st Judge and consequently to acquit him. He maintains that it was without proof of the
victim's underage status that the 1st Judge sentenced him and that under these circumstances
there was reasonable doubt, which should benefit him.