Congo releases American who was opposition security guard

AP News
Posted: Jun 08, 2016 11:42 AM

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — An American security guard for a top Congolese opposition leader has been released after being arrested in April, Congo's prosecutor general said Wednesday.

Darryl Lewis had been arrested during an opposition demonstration in Lubumbashi. He worked for Moise Katumbi, who has been accused of hiring mercenaries. The charges against Katumbi were announced the same day in May that Katumbi said he would run for Congo's November presidential election.

Lewis will return to the United States, said prosecutor general Victor Mumba Mukomo, but "the return to his country does not signify that the case is closed."

Katumbi's hearing began last month but was postponed after police fired tear gas outside the venue, and he fell ill. He was medically evacuated to South Africa and has since sought treatment in London and Germany, his colleague Olivier Kamitatu said.

Katumbi, president of the popular TP Mazembe soccer team, left the ruling party and his post as a governor last year, criticizing efforts by the government to delay elections.

Tensions surround the elections, which the opposition fears will be postponed to keep President Joseph Kabila in power longer.

Kabila took office in 2001 after the assassination of his father and is barred by the constitution from seeking another term. However, a court recently ruled that he could stay in power beyond December if elections were delayed, to ensure the country still has a head of state.

The election commission has said it needs more time for elections.

Dozens of delegates for the opposition parties are meeting Wednesday and Thursday in Brussels.