Matadi, DR Congo – A court in the Democratic Republic of Congo has sentenced 14 men to death for the murder of twin brothers, who were burned alive in a remote community, a prosecution lawyer said Friday.
The 14 were found guilty on Thursday of the killing of Max Nsenga Ntumba and Perce Muamba Ntumba, two rap artists from the capital Kinshasa who were in the southwestern Central Kongo province, Tresor Lobo told AFP.
In all, 25 people were charged over the killings on the night of July 30, but the court acquitted nine suspects for lack of evidence and separated proceedings for the other two.
The two rappers, aged 28, were severely beaten and then set on fire in the village of Kinzau Mvuete after they were accused of trying to steal the motorcycle of a man who was giving them a ride.
Local media said the twins were headed for Matadi, 60 kilometres (31 miles) to the west of the village, to give concerts at the invitation of a music producer
“Justice must be done for our two brothers,” their brother Salvador Munku told AFP in August. “They were neither thieves nor uncivil people.”
Each convicted man was ordered to pay 10 000 dollars (roughly R150 000) apiece for each victim, Lobo said, declaring himself “satisfied” with the verdict.
The death penalty has not been abolished in DR Congo but sentences have been commuted to life imprisonment since 2003.
The killings provoked outrage in the capital and in Central Kongo, a region where the twins were known for their music.
They were initially buried in a mass grave, but their bodies were then exhumed and laid to rest in a cemetery in Kinshasa.