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Wife presses charges against husband for hiring killers

17 November 2015, 13:28

Sydney - A man in Australia was in court for commissioning hitmen to murder his common-law wife, after they let her go saying they did not kill women, a news report said Tuesday.

Congo-born Balenga Kalala commissioned the murder of his partner of 10 years, and mother of his three children, to be carried out while she was in Burundi attending a funeral, the crown prosecutor told the Supreme Court, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Kalala confessed after her unexpected return, the prosecutor said, citing a recorded telephone conversation where he begged for her forgiveness and said he thought she was having an affair.

In January, Noela Rukundo was staying in Burundi for her stepmother's funeral, when she spoke by phone to Kalala, who suggested she leave the hotel to get some air, Douglas Trapnell QC told the court.

When she stepped outside she found a man waiting with a gun, who bundled her into a car and took her to another location, where an accomplice told her they had been hired to kill her, but were not prepared to murder a woman.

They then gave her a mobile phone, recordings of their phone conversations with Kalala, and receipts for the $7 000 they allegedly received in payment, the prosecutor was cited as saying.

Rukundo returned to Melbourne in February, where Kalala had first arrived as a refugee in 2004, and confronted him.

Kalala had told the community his wife died in an accident, and had received considerable financial contributions to help him support the couple's three children aged five, 10 and 11, and five more he was looking after from Rukundo's other relationships, the report said.

He pleaded guilty and was remanded for sentencing, the report said.

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