Death sentences thrown out in Congo

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Two young Norwegian men sentenced to death by military courts in Congo have won their appeal to the country’s high court. It ordered a new trial for the two men, who face charges of murder and spying.

The two Norwegians, Tjostolv Moland and Joshua French, have spent nearly a year in prison in the Democratic Republic of Congo, since their taxi driver was found murdered. Moland and French claim they were the victims of robbers. A military tribunal ruled that they had murdered their driver.

The tribunal sentenced the men to death, and the sentence was upheld by a military appeals court in Kisangani in December.

Now the high court in Congo’s capital of Kinshasa has ruled in favour of the Norwegians, and ordered their case sent back to Kisangani and tried in a civilian court.

Their Norwegian defense attorney, Morten Furuholmen, said the men will now have a new chance. Foreign Ministry officials who have been following the case told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that the case may come up in May or June.

Views and News staff