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DRC: a Pole released after his conviction for espionage

DRC: a Pole released after his conviction for espionage
The President of Congo, Félix Tshisekedi, at a press conference at the Élysée Palace in Paris, 30 April 2024   -  
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Christophe Ena/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Congolese authorities have released a Pole who had been sentenced to life in prison for espionage, the head of Polish diplomacy said on Tuesday.

Mariusz Majewski is back in Europe , Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski said on He did not specify where Mr. Majewski was exactly.

Mr. Majewski, 52, was arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo in February and later appeared before a military court in the central African country, accused of espionage . Last week he was sentenced to life in prison. No details have been provided as to his whereabouts.

According to the allegations against him, he would have "approached the front line with Mobondo militiamen" , would have moved along the front line without authorization and would have "taken photos of sensitive and strategic places and secretly observed military activities" .

The Mobondo is a militia involved in intercommunal violence in the southwest of the DRC since 2022.

The Polish Foreign Ministry says Mr Majewski was innocent. President Andrzej Duda spoke by phone last week with Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi to seek Majewski's release.

Poland does not have a diplomatic mission in the DRC.

Last week, Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Paweł Wroński said, without giving further details, that Majewski "is not a spy, he is a member of a travelers club" and that he was just following his “passion in life” . Wroński said his "behavior was the result of a lack of knowledge of local customs" .

Earlier this month, the Congolese army said it had foiled a coup attempt and arrested its perpetrators, some of them foreigners. Several American citizens are among those arrested.

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