Mark Ciavarella allegedly poisoned by lover in African Congo where he worked as an English teacher

Aussie teacher working in the Congo allegedly poisoned and fed to crocodiles by his gay African lover – as disturbing police ‘confession’ is revealed

  • Teacher who left Australia to work in the Congo allegedly poisoned 
  • Local police allegedly have a taped confession from flatmate 
  • He has been charged with assassination with a trial set for March 

An Australian teacher working at an international school in the Congo was killed when his drink was allegedly poisoned by his boyfriend and another man, who are  accused of dumping his body in a crocodile-infested river. 

Mark Ciavarella, 57, from Leeton in NSW moved to the African country six years ago working at first for the American International School teaching English and music and then switching to the French Consular School. 

His flatmate and lover Clement Bebeka has been charged with assassination by local police who will allegedly show a videotaped confession at his trial in the main court of the Palais de Justice in Brazzaville.

Mr Ciavarella was reported missing by his brother back in Australia on October 26, 2022, after he lost contact and feared something ‘untoward’ had happened in the notoriously dangerous and conflict-stricken country. 

Mark Ciavarella (pictured), 57, was allegedly poisoned by his flatmate and another man

Mark Ciavarella (pictured), 57, was allegedly poisoned by his flatmate and another man 

He moved to the Congo six years ago looking for adventure and taught at the American International School in the capital Brazzaville (pictured: the school with razor-wire fence)

He moved to the Congo six years ago looking for adventure and taught at the American International School in the capital Brazzaville (pictured: the school with razor-wire fence) 

The alleged confession of his flatmate, detailed to The Daily Telegraph, included a claim that Bebeka arrived at his unit where he had lived with Mr Ciavarella since 2016 and found him with another friend.

‘He said Mark was going to leave the country and leave us with nothing and said we needed something to benefit. He said he had a solution,’ Bebeka allegedly told police in French during the confession. 

He said when Mr Ciavarella went to the bathroom the man pulled out a bottle of poison and poured it into his glass, telling him they needed to get his money and his bankcards. 

‘After he drank the poison, he fell asleep and after 35 minutes or so he was dead,’ Bebeka allegedly said, before adding that he didn’t intervene to stop the man or warn Mr Ciavarella as he drank the contents of glass in front of him. 

As the Australian lay dead, Bebeka allegedly said he called a driver friend and the three wrapped the body in a sheet, loaded it into a car, drove to the Congo River and then threw it off a bridge. 

Police in the Congo allegedly obtained a confession from Clement Bebeka (pictured) who has been charged with assassination under local law

Police in the Congo allegedly obtained a confession from Clement Bebeka (pictured) who has been charged with assassination under local law

The Congo River runs on the border between Congo and the DRC (pictured)

The Congo River runs on the border between Congo and the DRC (pictured) 

Mr Ciavarella’s brother Darren told the newspaper his family is devastated, particularly because his body has not been found.

‘If it was a crash or illness, it would be easier to come to terms with, but the fact they killed him and fed him to crocodiles in the sea is killing us,’ he said.

He said his brother knew the country was dangerous but was passionate about teaching the children and helping and that he spoke to him the day before he went missing and he was excited about returning to Australia.  

The family had wanted him to return to sooner, he said, but he’d been hesitant because of a debt back home he racked up by being ripped off in a fraudulent housing scheme.

The trial will begin in March.

Mr Ciavarella's family said he had a big heart and wanted to help the children in the Congo

Mr Ciavarella’s family said he had a big heart and wanted to help the children in the Congo  

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