Five years ago, on 13th June 2007, Serge Maheshe, a journalist at Radio Okapi was murdered in the street in Bukavu. The trial which took place in front of the military jurisdiction of Bukavu in the first instance and at appeal, neither respected the norms of a fair trial nor succeeded in manifesting the truth.
Three civilians were nevertheless condemned to death in May 2008, two of whom are now in prison. An appeal was made before the Military High Court and the Supreme Court of Justice serving as the Cour de Cassation, supreme court of appeal. However, one year on this appeal has not yet been examined.
In July 2006, Protection International met with Serge Maheshe, at Radio Okapi in Bukavu. While the electoral campaign beat full force in the RDC, it was closely followed by the Kabungulu trial, the case of a human rights defender assassinated in Bukavu in July 2005.
Protection International proceeded to observe the trial of those presumed to have murderered the journalist or to have ordered him to be shot dead. In Brussels on 24th June 2009, Protection International presented its observational report of the Maheshe appeal trial.