24.05.2017 ( Last modified: 26.05.2017 )
Trial Watch would like to remind its users that any person charged by national or international authorities is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Felix Djela, also known under the nickname “Bravo Tango”, is a Lieutenant Colonel of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC).
During an operation of the Congolese army in the village of Kibungwe (South Kivu Province) in February 2010, Felix Djela and his men killed two civilians during a confrontation with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). In the same occasion, one of his subordinate was reported to have sexually assaulted a woman.
Felix Djela was arrested in 2012 by the FARDC. In 2013, a trial was opened before the South Kivu Military Court in Bukavu.
On 4 September 2013, Djela was sentenced to life imprisonment, and the Congolese State was considered civilly liable for the crimes, and was condemned to pay compensation to the victims.
Djela lodged an appeal against the verdict before escaping from the central prison of Bukavu, just two weeks after his arrest. Due to the absence of the accused, the appeal proceedings were put on hold.
The trial was finally opened before the Kinshasa Military High Court in late 2015 and in February 2016 the Court rendered a judgment in absentia, sentencing Djela to 20 years of prison and, jointly with the State, to pay 7’500 dollars in reparation to the victim.