Norwegians sentenced to death in DRC

June 10, 2010 12:00 am

, KINSHASA, Jun 10 – A military court in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo has sentenced two Norwegians to death for the murder of a Congolese and for spying, the prosecutor said on Thursday.

Joshua French, 28, and Tjostolv Moland, 29, were "sentenced to death for spying, criminal association, murder, attempted murder," Colonel Pierre Agabu, the prosecutor in the case before the court in Kisangani, told AFP.

The two Norwegian former soldiers were on trial charged with killing, on May 5, 2009, the driver of a car they had rented in Kisangani.

The military court was conducting a retrial after the two men had previously been convicted of murder and sentenced to death, then seen the case thrown out because of "irregularities".

They were also convicted of illegal "possession of weapons of war" and "armed theft of a vehicle", Agabu said.

In December 2009, the same court sentenced the Norwegians to death during an appeal hearing, after they were first convicted and sentenced by a lower court in September.

But last April 22, the verdict was annulled by the high military court in the capital Kinshasa, for irregularities noted in the appeal court, which meant that the retrial took place with new judges sent from Kinshasa.

The prosecutor said that Thursday\’s conviction and sentence was "practically the same text as was pronounced" in December 2009.


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