Judge Raphael Yanyi, presiding in the high-profile trial of a senior Democratic Republic of Congo official facing corruption charges, died on May 26. Three successive versions of the cause of his death have now been given – a heart attack, poisoning and stab wounds to the head. His family is calling for an independent autopsy to be conducted by international experts who are independent of the DRC government.
When the death of Judge Raphael Yanyi was first announced on May 26, the authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo said he had died of a heart attack. Now however two other versions have emerged. This week the justice minister and DRC's Deputy Prime Minister, Celestin Tunda Ya Kasende, said that an autopsy showed that the judge had died ‘a violent death, due to the blows of sharp points or knife-like objects, which were thrust into his head’.