Cameroon Charges Business Tycoon Belinga Over Death of Journalist Zogo

Cameroon Charges Business Tycoon Belinga Over Death of Journalist Zogo (News Central TV)
FILE PHOTO: Cameroon journalist Martinez Zogo’s photo is displayed as fellow journalists pay their last respect to him after he was found dead after abduction, in Yaounde, Cameroon January 23, 2023. REUTERS/Amindeh Blaise Atabong//File Photo

A Cameroonian businessman Jean Pierre Amougou Belinga has been charged with complicity in torture, a spokesperson for his business group said on Saturday, after he was arrested last month in connection with the murder of a prominent journalist, Martinez Zogo.

According to Ines Arielle Zamo Belinga, a representative for his business organisation Groupe L’Anecdote, Belinga was transported from a detention facility and officially charged in Kondengui prison in the capital Yaounde on Saturday.

“Now lawyers take over,” she said in a statement, without giving further details.

An inquiry for comment was not immediately answered by the justice ministry. In January, mutilated bones of Zogo were discovered close to Yaounde. Several government and security personnel have been named in the media as suspects in the case, which has caused unrest in the Central African country.

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The president’s office reported in January that numerous individuals had been detained but provided no further information.

On January 17, unknown assailants abducted Zogo, the director of the for-profit radio station Amplitude FM, after he attempted to flee his attackers by going inside a police station. His body was found on January 22.

He had just spoken on the radio about an alleged embezzlement case involving a media company controlled by Belinga that had connections to the government.

The media watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists has called on the Cameroonian government to be open about Zogo and to explain why a second journalist died while in government custody in 2019.

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