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Slovenia urges Sudan to pardon jailed envoy

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Aug 14, 2006 (LJUBLJANA) — Slovene President Janez Drnovsek has asked the Sudanese president Omer al-Bashir to pardon his special envoy to Darfur, Tomo Kriznar, who is sentenced by a Sudanese court to two years in jail.

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Tomo Kriznar

According to the office of Slovenian President, Drnovsek addressed a special letter to Sudanese President Omar al Bashir today in which he asks for his envoy to be released from prison.

The office presidential office has said that it expects the president’s envoy to Darfur, Tomo Kriznar, who was sentenced to two years in prison on Monday by a Sudanese court, to be pardoned, Radio Slovenija reported.

The office also noted that a two-year sentence was "absolutely too harsh" as Kriznar is guilty but of a consular offence - entering Sudan without a visa. The office therefore expects that the Sudanese government will pardon Kriznar and send him home as soon as possible.

Al Fasher Crimimnal Court ruled that Kriznar was guilty of espionage, publishing false reports and entering the country without obtaining a visa. It sentenced him to two years in prison and ordered him to pay about US$2,400 (?1,887.09) in fines. If Kriznar fails to pay the fine, he could stay in jail for another six months, said Justice Minister Mohamed Ali al Mardhi.

The Slovenian Foreign Ministry has already announced its plan to appeal against the decision.

Tomo Kriznar, a peace activist who traveled to Sudan’s troubled Darfur region in February as the Slovenian president’s envoy, had been in custody since July 20.

(ST)

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