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Second man charged with identity theft opts to postpone case to review new evidence

A sheriff removes handcuffs from Doudou Kikewa Mpumudjie’s wrists as his court case gets underway in St. John’s Friday. The Montreal man is one of four men charged together with identity theft and fraud.
A sheriff removes handcuffs from Doudou Kikewa Mpumudjie’s wrists as his court case gets underway in St. John’s Friday. The Montreal man is one of four men charged together with identity theft and fraud. - Tara Bradbury
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

The second of four men charged with identity theft and fraud appeared in provincial court in St. John's Friday, though his sentencing hearing didn't go ahead as scheduled.

Doudou Kikewa Mpumudjie, 29, agreed to postpone the proceedings in order to review new evidence in the case with his lawyer.

Crown and defence lawyers had come to a plea deal in the case, and had drawn up an agreed statement of facts. Two new paragraphs were added to the document Friday after police handed over new information gleaned from a laptop. Though his lawyer had been given a summary of the evidence, neither he nor Mpumudjie had actually seen the information directly. They opted to take some time to review the evidence before they officially went ahead with Mpumudjie's pleas.

Through a French-English interpreter, Mpumudjie expressed his frustration with the delays in the case, and said he doesn't understand why the evidence was coming in bits and pieces.

"The nature of police investigations with multiple accused and multiple provinces often involves late evidence, especially if computers are involved," explained Judge James Walsh. "It might be unusual for you, but not for me. It's common. I think your decision to review the evidence is very wise and in your best interest."

Mpumudjie will return to court July 31 for a sentencing hearing. Walsh said he will deliver his sentence on Aug. 14, when he is also scheduled to sentence one of Mpumudjie's co-accused, Joseph Kalombo Ndonki, 46.

Ndonki testified in court earlier this week, crying as he admitted his involvement in the identity theft scheme and asking the judge for forgiveness. He told the court he had been destitute and had been trying to get money for his wife and children when he committed the crimes.

Mpumudjie, Ndonki, 26-year-old Toussaint Yenga-Yenga and 23-year-old Gustave Ngandu Kalombo were arrested last February at a Purolator courier depot in St. John's. They are alleged to have participated in a scheme that saw them use their photos to create fake driver's licences, social insurance number cards and Canadian citizenship cards with the personal identification of other people, then use the cards to open bank accounts, obtain cellphone contracts and purchase at least one plane ticket to Newfoundland.

Twitter: @tara_bradbury


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