The Constitutional Court of the Democratic Republic of Congo has decided to judge former Prime Minister Augustin Matata "by default" in a trial for alleged embezzlement of public funds. Matata's defense stated that he was ill and receiving treatment abroad, requesting a 60-day delay. However, the court recognized the default and asked his lawyers to withdraw. Matata, currently a senator and president of the Leadership and Governance for Development party, was accused of diverting $205 million out of $285 million meant for an agro-industrial park project. He denies the allegations and believes the trial is an attempt to exclude him from the upcoming presidential election.
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