Copied from Beeb:
Norway has said it has been assured by the Democratic Republic of Congo that two Norwegian nationals sentenced to death will not now be executed.
Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said he had received the guarantee from his DRC counterpart, Alexis Thambwe Mwamba.
Joshua French, who holds joint British-Norwegian nationality, and Tjostolv Moland were convicted in September of murdering a taxi driver and spying.
The two men lost an appeal at a military tribunal on 3 December.
Mr Stoere said that Mr Thambwe Mwamba had assured him during a conversation that a moratorium on executions in DR Congo meant that the death sentence would not be carried out.
The tribunal appeal in Kisangani upheld the death sentences on Moland and French – former Norwegian soldiers convicted of murdering their Congolese driver.
They and the Norwegian state were also ordered to pay $500m (£300m) in damages.
The rulings drew immediate international protests amid claims of miscarriages of justice.
Norwegian national broadcaster NRK says the pair plan to appeal against the sentence in Kinshasa’s supreme court, AP news agency reports.
Moland and French have been held since May this year since their Congolese driver was found shot dead.
Both men deny murdering Abedi Kasongo, 47, maintaining that he was shot and killed when their car was ambushed by gunmen on the road near the city of Kisangani.
Tjostolv Moland as Charlie Sheen, and Joshua French
August 28th 2009. Kinshasa, Congo.
Has Charlie Sheen just been sentenced to death 5 times in combination with a demand of 500 billion USD worth, during a trial in Congo? Well it may look like it. His real name however is Tjolstolv Moland, while his equally unlucky parner to the right on the picture is Joshua French.
A military prosecutor in Congo asked the court on Friday to sentence to death 5 times + 20 years the two Norwegians accused of killing their driver Abedi Kasongo in May earlier this year.
The two Norwegian mercenaries Joshua French (27), and Tjostolv Moland (28), are charged with murder, attempted murder, espionage, conspiracy and armed robbery, after their driver was found dead with a gunshot wound to his head in Congo’s northeastern Orientale province.
The two Norwegians have denied all allegations, and claim that their driver was shot by armed gangs. Of course, the trial wouldn’t have been a corrupt banana republic worthy if the he prosecution hadn’t also demanded this week that Norway pays Congo $500 billion in damages over the incident.
More Norwegian news
The trial continues on Tuesday. In either case the two seem to be screwed.
But at least we already know who will play Moland in the upcoming movie of the Congolese farse.
Mike Myers may play his part again too.
I hope for the sake of the victim and his family that the guilty parts will face a proper trial and be brought to justice some day.
Now with Charlie Sheen going crazy in the US, maybe it’s just a matter of time before the headline becomes true: Charlie Sheen in the news