Ex-adviser to DR Congo President taken to prison following hearing

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A former presidential adviser in DR Congo who was removed from the cabinet and detained last week has been transferred to the main prison in Kinshasa after a six-hour hearing with prosecutors, according to state media.

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“Fortunat Biselele, an influential ex-private adviser to President Felix Tshisekedi was transferred on Friday night to the central prison of Makala” following the marathon hearing, government news agency ACP reported.

Two videos released by the agency showed Biselele, escorted by soldiers, climbing the steps to the prosecutor's office early Friday evening.

A substantial police presence was also visible at the entrance to the office, according to an AFP journalist.

Later that night, a witness told AFP he had seen Biselele getting into a vehicle under police escort.

Biselele was removed from the presidential cabinet on January 14 and taken into custody, but the official reasons for his detention remain unknown.

An article published by the newsletter Africa Intelligence, however, said he was “suspected of collusion” with the government of Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

The outlet reported that Biselele had tried to “bring Kinshasa and Kigali closer together at the start of Tshisekedi’s mandate.”

Relations between the two governments have since hit rock bottom, with the DRC accusing Rwanda of supporting M23 rebels who have taken territory in the DRC’s east.

The United States, several European countries and United Nations experts agree that Rwanda is assisting the M23.

Kigali, however, has denied the allegations, while accusing the DRC’s military of colluding with a rebel group descended from the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

On Thursday, it accused Kinshasa of abandoning a deal aimed at bringing peace to DR Congo’s volatile east as tensions spiral.

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