Football star to appeal for release of C4 crew

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The Independent Online

The Liberian footballer George Weah is to ask his country's President to free the four television journalists detained on spying charges.

The Liberian footballer George Weah is to ask his country's President to free the four television journalists detained on spying charges.

The former world footballer of the year, now playing for Manchester City, will be in Liberia this weekend. He believes that he can secure the release of the journalists, who include two Britons, after the United States President Bill Clinton, South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela, the US civil rights leader Jesse Jackson and the British Government have all failed.

Mr Weah was raised in the Liberian capital of Monrovia. He is confident that Charles Taylor will see him. "We have a lot of respect for each other," said Mr Weah. "I fly out on Saturday night for Liberia's game against Mauritius and then I'll see the President. I know he will listen to me because he is a good friend and he appreciates what I have done for our country."

The detention of David Barrie, Timothy Lambon, South African Gugulakhe Radebe and Sierra Leonean documentary maker Sorious Samura has been condemned worldwide. They were held last Friday while making a documentary for Channel 4 and charged with espionage on Monday.

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