British ex-soldier fears defence evidence may be blocked as he faces murder trial before Congo military tribunal
Monday 06 January 2014
Evidence that could clear a former British solider on death row in the Democratic Republic of Congo of the alleged murder of his best friend may not be heard at his trial due to start on Tuesday, his mother has said.
Joshua French and Norwegian national Tjostolv Moland were sentenced to death in 2009 after being convicted of espionage and the murder of a Congolese man in proceedings that drew strong criticism from international observers.
Now Mr French, 31, a former member of the Parachute Regiment who has joint British and Norwegian nationality, is due to stand trial for allegedly murdering Mr Moland, who was found dead in the cell they shared in a Congolese prison last August.
Campaigning group Reprieve said a post-mortem report by the Norwegian police and the Congolese authorities found that Mr Moland had committed suicide. A request from Mr Moland's father for the charges to be dropped against Mr French has also fallen on deaf ears.
Kari Hilde, Mr French's mother, said a team of Norwegian and Congolese lawyers as well as forensic experts has gathered in DRC ahead of the trial, which is due to take part before a military tribunal rather than a civilian court.
Mrs Hilde said: "Josh is nervous about the hearing given what has gone before. We don't know yet what evidence will be admitted, we cannot be certain about anything. But we are confident that we can present a strong case if we are allowed to do so."
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 2 Trevor Noah: Jon Stewart's replacement faces online criticism over 'anti-Semitic' tweets
- 3 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 4 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 5 Syrian child photographed 'surrendering to camera because she thought it was a gun'
Costa Concordia: Shipment of Mob drugs was hidden aboard cruise liner when it hit rocks off Italian coast, investigators say
Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A rare and exciting role has arisen within thi...
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a keen...
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion, this multi-ac...
£21000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an e...