UN court concludes hearing in Guinea-DRC case

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The UN's highest court said Thursday it had concluded a hearing into a Guinean businessman's alleged wrongful arrest by the Democratic Republic of Congo more than 14 years ago.

A public hearing into the matter was concluded Thursday and "the court has started its deliberation," the International Court of Justice said in a statement.

Guinea started proceedings against the DR Congo in 1998, claiming it had committed serious violations of international law in its treatment of businessman Ahmadou Sadio Diallo.

It said Diallo, who had spent 32 years in the DR Congo, was "unjustly imprisoned" by the authorities there for two-and-a-half months, stripped of his assets and expelled from the country in 1996 in violation of his diplomatic immunity.

Guinea claimed this happened after Diallo, who owned companies called Africom-Zaire and Africontainers-Zaire, claimed debts owed to him by the DR Congo and by oil companies operating in that country, including Zaire Shell and Zaire Mobil.

The DR Congo was known as Zaire at the time.

The court said Guinea sought "full reparation on account of the injury suffered by Mr Diallo."

DR Congo denies the claim and has asked the court to dismiss the case.

© 2010 AFP

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