DR Congo ex-minister accused of $4.3m embezzlement

AFP
September 16,2019

KINSHASA: Detained former DR Congo health minister Oly Ilunga has been accused of embezzling $4.3 million of public funds raised to tackle the Ebola epidemic, his defence counsel said Sunday while...

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KINSHASA: Detained former DR Congo health minister Oly Ilunga has been accused of embezzling $4.3 million of public funds raised to tackle the Ebola epidemic, his defence counsel said Sunday while insisting on his innocence. “Police accuse him of having siphoned off a total of $4.3 million made available by the treasury to fight Ebola,” lawyers Guy Kabeya and Willy Ngashi said in a statement. Ilunga, who resigned as health minister in July after being removed as head of the country’s Ebola response team, was arrested Saturday in Kinshasa. Police have alleged he was planning to flee the country and escape justice, something his lawyers denied. Kabeya and Ngashi said that “more than $1.9 million of the sum was paid out in a month following Dr Ilunga’s resignation — as such he can in no way be held accountable”. “As for the remaining $2.4 million... the accounts show that this sum was disbursed exclusively for the purpose of fighting the Ebola virus,” they added in their statement. Ilunga is due to be referred to a state prosecutor Monday, according to police. Police spokesman Colonel Pierrot-Rombaut Mwanamputu told AFP on Saturday that he is accused of “misdemeanours of the mismanagement of funds allocated to the Ebola response.


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