Two citizens of Norway were sentenced to death in the Democratic Republic Congo for espionage, murder and attempted murder. Tuesday’s verdict was confirmed by Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to a military court in Kisangani, Tjostolv Moland, 28, and Joshua French, 27, were both found guilty on all charges.
“I have earlier made absolutely clear that these two have not been conducting business for Norway in any shape or form,” Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Store said after the verdict.
“We will now read through the sentence to see exactly how it is written,” Store added.
Norwegian officials have been following the case since it’s conception and have been careful to respect the judicial system of the country while trying to help their citizens.
Moland and French were found guilty of spying for Norway and been found guilty of the May murder of a driver. It is still unclear why the pair was in the country.
In an earlier statement on the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Website, the ministry said that if the two Norwegians were to receive the death penalty,
Norwegian authorities would immediately try to seek assurances from Congolese authorities that the death sentence would not be carried out.
“Norway has a very strong stand on the death penalty, and we are very much against it,” a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman said.
The pair have also been sentenced to pay $1 U.S. dollar per Congolese citizen which totals $60 million U.S.
The men have five days to appeal their sentence.