Court of Appeal: MRC lawyers humiliate the public prosecutor

Court of Appeal: MRC lawyers humiliate the public prosecutor

N Melo
by N Melo
September 15, 2022 0

Court of Appeal: MRC lawyers humiliate the public prosecutor

The collective of lawyer Sylvain Souop who defends the 39 militants of the MRC on appeal this September 15, 2022 to the Court of Appeal of the Center (Yaoundé) defeats the accusations of the public prosecutor and destroys one by one in this memo, his arguments .

The incriminated facts which are the subject of the multiple ongoing trials with standardized charges (Revolution, Rebellion, Crowd, in co-action and in complicity) date back to August of the year 2020, according to the theses supported by the accusers, and as appears from the copies of the exhibits consulted by the defence:

These incriminations point out that the political party the Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon (MRC), within the framework of its political activities, had announced peaceful marches which were to be organized by its militants and sympathizers throughout the national territory on the date of September 22, 2020, with the aim of “opposing the holding of the regional elections of December 06, 2020”, but also to demand “the departure of the President of the Republic”.

Pr FOGUE Treasurer of the MRC, the executives of the AWASUM Mispa FRI Party, BIBOU NISSACK Olivier, ZAMBOUE Pascal and 35 others who have formally appealed, each in his own sphere, against the five (5) separate judgments rendered on 27 and 28 December 2021 and January 17, 2022, which condemned them to firm prison terms, are accused individually and collectively of being at the same time authors and accomplices of the facts of having:

– By WhatsApp and Facebook messages,
– By banners and leaflets,
– By using their telephones,
– By speeches and messages from the MRC,
– And by the projection of peaceful marches,

1- Firstly: “tempted by violence to overthrow the political authorities established by the constitutional laws, to make it impossible for them to exercise their powers, in this case the President of the Republic”

2- Secondly: “by any means whatsoever, incited to resist the application of the legitimate orders of the public authority by going beyond the bans on marches ordered by the administrative authorities”, “By violence or assault, prevented anyone from acting for the execution laws, regulations, or legitimate order of the public authority, in particular the summons of the forces of order”

3- Thirdly: Being part of a crowd, did not withdraw at the first summons from the competent authority, namely the law enforcement forces, said crowd having only been able to be dispersed by the law enforcement forces of the order.

According to the Introductory Statement of Proceedings signed by Government Commissioner Cerlin BELINGA dated November 03, 2020, and consulted by the defence, the prosecution for the repression of peaceful marches also targeted Professor KAMTO Maurice, Alice KOM, Edith KABANG Wallah, CHO AYABA , OKALA EBODE, NINUM Pierre and others, who have been charged;

It should be noted that none of the five (05) proceedings no longer concerns them, the same proceedings initiated against them having been “arrested for lack of identification” as appears from the terms of the final indictment of the Government Commissioner and Settlement Order No. 059/ONLPR/JI/PNY of December 08, 2021 issued by Magistrate Joël Albert BIAS.

This statement remains a fairy tale and Ali BABA!
It sufficiently demonstrates the lack of seriousness of the authors of the procedure and of the procedure itself. Insofar as they are public figures who do not escape any judicial information.

The incriminations also supported by the prosecution in the proceedings do not even come under reasonable suspicion, and are refuted by the accused appellants, all civilians who have challenged the legal ability of the military courts to try them since their indictments!

Of all the exhibits made available to the defense and consulted, consisting mainly of the statements of the defendants collected during the judicial investigations, although military, the said peaceful marches incriminated were nevertheless aimed at:

1- The call for the end of the war civil and fratricidal in the English-speaking regions of the country and the opening of an inclusive national dialogue;
2- The consensual reform of the Cameroonian electoral system;
3- The audit of the catastrophic financial management of the trillions swallowed up in the organization of CAN-Total 2019;
4- The rejection of the alternation at the top of the state by the “Over-the-counter”.

The files of the procedures reveal that declarations of public demonstrations to the competent administrative authorities, namely the Sub-Prefects, were made throughout the territory.

These competent authorities have not taken any act of prohibition.

But, in September 2020, it is clear that without legal competence, people embodying the public authorities, whose main role is to apply and ensure the application of the laws of the Republic, have created a special device leading to the repression of the said marches.

This is how the hunt for MRC militants, and the relentlessness against its sympathizers, began.

Arrests of all kinds, even in private homes, have been erected as a principle of action aimed at maintaining and / or restoring order, supposedly threatened by the call for peaceful marches initiated by the MRC.

This action is supported by media outlets by certain members of the government, who, in a press release that has become famous on September 27, 2020, announced the savage repression.

It has already been argued in the Collective Report of August 30, 2021 that it is this Communiqué which seems to have dictated the path taken by all the repression of the incriminated peaceful marches,

To repress and punish the militants who echoed the political opinions expressed by the messages of the MRC, massive, abusive, illicit and arbitrary arrests, individual abductions, all accompanied by multifaceted acts of torture (physical, moral, psychological), cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of the victims of the arrests were organized across the country, and took place from September 15, 2020 to November 21, 2020.

In the Collective’s previous Reports, 593 arrests were listed in 29 internment centers.

The government acknowledged 245 arrests.
It should be noted that with this government announcement, we were close to cases of enforced disappearances that, fortunately, the Collective acknowledges not having observed.

The five (05) procedures subject of this REPORT which return on September 15, 2022 are the result of the military criminal proceedings initiated following these multiple ACTS OF ARRESTS,

By five (05) separate judgments rendered on December 27 and 28, 2021 and January 17, 2022, and attacked by the appeal, forty-six (46) MRC activists arbitrarily detained since this period, have been the subject of savage convictions, to sentences of up to Seven (07) years in prison. incarceration by the Military Court of Yaoundé.

These judgments followed military judicial information, both intellectually lazy and unconcerned about human rights, and conducted by magistrates, manifestly hostile, legitimately suspected of bias and regularly challenged, who refused to withdraw from procedures themselves.

During these trials opened in December 2021, the forty-six (46) defendants legitimately chose to each exercise their Constitutional Right to Remain Silence (the Right to be silent), moreover refusing to appear before this military court whose they vainly took care to challenge the jurisdiction to try them as civilians, based on International Law, which irritates the judges chosen to hear the case,

The Lawyers they chose themselves for their defenses disbanded en bloc in September 2021, to denounce the arbitrariness suffered by their clients.

The military judges seized in December 2021, maintained the logic of repression at all costs, by appointing lawyers to defend these absent defendants.

And as was to be expected, these appointed Lawyers, who never met their supposed clients, pleaded mitigating circumstances and refrained from exercising legal remedies, in violation of their oath of Lawyer, despite the recusal and the formal challenge of their skills by their supposed clients.

It is in this context that the five (05) judgments contested by the appeals filed on January four (04) and twenty-four (24) 2022 by the convicted defendants themselves took place.

It should also be noted and to deplore the lack of understanding of the choice of several military courts to repress a peaceful march,

The Military Court of Yaoundé, which nevertheless has national jurisdiction, was not the only military court seized for the repression of the peaceful marches of September 22, 2020, as was the case in 2019 during the repression of the white marches of January 26, 2019, still organized by the political party MRC, across the country and abroad and which denounced the electoral heist.

Two other military jurisdictions have been called upon and have in various ways expressed their hostility to International Law relating to police ethics in law enforcement operations, the prohibition of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, the rules of fair trial, especially the ban on trying civilians before military tribunals, etc.

Already, to retain the jurisdiction of the military courts, the military investigating judge Albert Joel BIAS, criminal judge with full jurisdiction, considers in his settlement order that he is not the Constitutional Council to assess the constitutionality of the Article 8 of the Code of Military Justice that Pr FOGUE and others refused to apply to them in view of its anti-constitutional character!

This argument appeared like a beam of light that spreads to all the military jurisdictions involved.

This is how the Military Court of Bafoussam, seized in its time, on the same occasion and in the same circumstances as above, first had to empty its referral on December six (06) and seven (07), 2021, and in a relatively reasonable time;

He also forwarded his case files to the Western Court of Appeal for reconsideration, once the appeals were filed by the convicted defendants. This Court of Appeal sitting in Bafoussam has re-opened the trial since April 2022, and will certainly empty its referral on October 3, the date on which the last convict still incarcerated will have fully served his sentence.

As for the Military Court of Douala, divested by its judgments rendered since December 07 and 08, 2021 and by the appeals filed on December 16 and 17, 2021, has so far not transmitted any file to the higher court.

It was also on September 5 (5), 2022, that certain accused appellants, thirteen (13) in total, received notification of the orders issued on August 30, 2022 to fix the costs of reproducing the file. of instance, nearly a year since the exercise of this remedy.

Well before the intervention of this notification, the referral to Mr. President of the Littoral Court of Appeal having exclusive jurisdiction to hear disputes formed against excessive and disproportionate reproduction costs, inexplicably refuses to rule on the requests made by about twenty other accused appellants having received shortly before, their orders fixing the costs of reproduction of the case file.

Only shadowy judicial practices, which combine in some hands the functions of accusers, judges and executioners, constituting threats both to public order and to the efficiency of the administration of justice, can justify such acts observed in Douala.

The point of the files still pending relating to the peaceful marches of September 22, 2020 is as follows:

Person imprisoned in various prisons

1. Bafoussam prison: 01
2. New Bell prison: 46
3. Mfou prison : 01
4. Yaoundé Central Prison: 39
5. Yaoundé Main Prison: 07
Observations: 29/94 are fully serving their sentences as of September 30, 2022.
08 in Yaoundé and Mfou.
21 in Douala.

Elderly prisoners: 03
1. OUFFO Maurice
2. KALECO Paul
3. ZAMBOUE Pascal Ill
prisoners: 09

1. TCHUEM Mike (hypertension)
2. TCHOUDJA Douglas (eye problems)
3. KALECKO Paul (gastroenteritis problems)
4. Salomon BEAS (eye problems and recently subject to pneumonia)
5. KOPWA DENKOU Patrick (post-torture stroke at the SCRJ)
6. LAH YU FE ZEU (post-operative trauma after torture)
7. INTIFALIA OBEN (post-torture trauma)
8. OUFFO MAURICE, (post-torture trauma)
9. ZAMBOUE PASCAL (Hypertension).

On Thursday, March 15, 2022, the trial relating to the appeals filed by the victims of the arbitrary convictions of the Yaoundé Military Court will open in Yaoundé, no longer within the confines of a military barracks, but at the seat of the Court of Appeal. of the Center located at the Administrative Center of Yaoundé:

The judges of this Court will have to rule on the following questions in the file which have received the affirmative answer from the Military Court of Yaoundé:

1. The fact of not agreeing on the governance of the city constitute an offence?
2. Can operations to maintain / restore order, without a warrant, lead to searches and arrests in private homes? And overnight?
3. Are brutality, violence, the use of armed force and that of torture means prescribed by the ethics of operations to maintain/restore order?
4. Does the exercise of a constitutional right such as that of peaceful demonstration give rise to repressive proceedings? And before the military courts?
5. Is the Revolution, within the meaning of Cameroonian criminal law, materially possible by using means such as: peaceful speeches, peaceful messages whatever the medium, the telephone, and peaceful marches?
6. Are the peaceful marches declared and not prohibited by the competent Sub-Prefects illegal?

7. ETC

It is on these few essential points that the defense awaits the Court.

Me Hippolyte BT MELI

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