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Norwegian imprisoned in Congo has died

19 August 2013, 11:40

Stockholm - Tjostolv Moland, one of two Norwegian citizens imprisoned in Congo since 2009 on murder charges, has died in prison, his lawyer and government officials said Sunday. The cause of death wasn't immediately clear.

British-Norwegian citizen Joshua French, who was imprisoned alongside Moland in 2009, is upset, but in good health, attorney Hans Marius Graasvold said.

The two former Norwegian soldiers were convicted in Congo in 2009 of espionage and murder of a local driver and sentenced to death.

They have consistently denied the charges and Norwegian authorities have tried to have them transferred to serve their sentences in Norway.

Norway's Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said Moland was found dead in his cell on Sunday morning and that members of his family in Norway have been informed.

"More than anything our thoughts now are with them in this very difficult situation," Eide said, adding the government has been concerned about French and Moland's situation for a long time.

Norway and Britain have worked together to try to find a solution for French and Moland, and Eide said he has informed Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague about Moland's death.

- AP


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