Joshua French, the British-Norwegian soldier convicted first of murdering a taxi driver in the Democratic Republic of Congo and then for killing his partner Tjostolv Moland in prison, has emerged from seclusion after returning to Norway in May. Norwegian officials had persuaded the Congolese to release him for health reasons and now French says he’s writing a book about what he and Moland were doing in Congo when they were arrested in 2009.
In his first interview, with the Christian newspaper Dagen, French said he felt a need to express himself in book form, “to gather everything in one place.” Both he and Moland were sentenced to death for the murder of their taxi driver and languished in a Congolese military prison for several years. Then Moland was found dead in the cell they shared in 2013, and French was charged with killing him as well. Others believed Moland committed suicide.
Both men had been in Norway’s special forces and still carried their military IDs when they were arrested in Congo. That prompted charges from local authorities that they also were spies. French was ultimately allowed to travel home to Norway, arriving on the 17th of May this year, Norway’s national day.
His mother, Kari Hilde French, is also writing a book. She ended up moving to Congo to care for her son in prison, since he was suffering from various diseases including malaria. Her book is due out before Christmas, while her son’s book is due out sometime next year.