The Democratic Republic of Congo
government is weighing options to appeal a Swiss court ruling which awarded
former President Mobutu Sese Seko's assets to his family.
Lambert Mende said Kinshasa is waiting for its justice minister to review the
case before taking any action.
In its ruling, the court said former President
Sese Seko had at least six million dollars stashed in various Swiss bank
Minister Mende told VOA that Kinshasa is
disappointed with the court's ruling.
due respect to a court decision that is the judgment, the government is not
happy with this decision because the government was of the conviction that this
money should have been sent to the Congolese people," Mende said.
said the justice minister is reviewing the ruling in order to advise Kinshasa
on the likelihood of challenging the court's decision.
are waiting a position from our minister for justice who is handling the file.
He will tell us if there is any possibility to appeal," he said.
said there are indications some circumstances would make it difficult to
challenge the ruling.
to what I heard personally from press reports, there might not be a gain
possibility to appeal, but the minister has not confirmed. But if there is any
possibility, I'm sure that the government will appeal against that decision,"
said President Joseph Kabila was equally displeased with the court's ruling.
reaction of the government is the reaction of the president… you know we have
to show respect to the court decision, we are a state. Though we have our
feeling, we are not happy with that decision," he said.
said after various investigations, Kinshasa has concluded that former President
Sese Seko took money belonging to the Congolese people.
is because the government did investigation that is why the government has
asked for that money to come back. This was made before our team (government)
took over. It was done, I think, around the year 2001 or 2002," Mende said.
said there are structures in place now that would prevent future presidents
from looting the country's resources.
human rights organizations have sharply condemned the Swiss court's ruling
describing it as unfortunate.
argued that former President Sese Seko's assets, stashed in Swiss bank accounts
were ill-gotten and called for the money's return to help suffering Congolese.
Transparency International, former President Sese Seko embezzled over $5 billion from his country during his reign which
lasted from 1965 to 1997. Transparency ranked him as the third most corrupt