At the same time I was in Kasongo with the Military Court, the civilian court was also there to run criminal trials.
This photo shows a man charged with sexual assault standing before the court.

Following the European model of court, the court here has three judges. Also at the table are the clerk and the prosecutor (who is standing).

Just as the Military Court had to improvise it’s surroundings. For this court they found a hotel meeting room. Thus, the court and the spectators got plastic chairs.

Similarly, the Cour Militaire de Garnison (the lower military court) had to improvise it’s surroundings by holding court from the front porch of a government building. The three accused had to sit out in the hot sun, until someone brought them each a Chinese parasol. Similarly, the defense lawyer got a parasol, since he too had to stand out in the hot sun. The next three photos were taken when the court made a road trip to Kalima in January 2012.

Alright, we’re back with the criminal court in Kasongo. Also following the European model, the judges take on an inquisitorial role. And as you will see in the photos that follow, the chief judge was particularly aggressive.

After getting a grilling from the chief judge, the case was adjourned and the suspect taken out in custody.

The next case was an allegation of sexual assault. The accused is in the orange shirt and the victim in black.

The victim’s mother was also in court, along with her younger child.