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Sudan Tribune

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Slovene envoy to stand trial in Sudan for espionage

Aug 3, 2006 (LJUBLJANA, Slovenia) — A Slovene envoy was arrested in Sudan and is to be tried on charges of illegal entry and espionage, a senior government official said Thursday.

Tomo_Kriznar.jpgTomo Kriznar, a peace activist who traveled to Sudan’s troubled Darfur region in February as the Slovene president’s envoy, has been held since July 20 and is to be tried in the coming days, said Ivo Vajgl, a presidential adviser.

Vajgl acknowledged Kriznar entered Sudan without a valid visa, though he didn’t know why. He denied the accusations that Kriznar was a spy.

Slovenia found him a lawyer through the German Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, Vajgl said.

Kriznar is widely known in Slovenia as a humanitarian activist. Kriznar offered earlier this year to be President Janez Drnovsek’s envoy to Sudan. Drnovsek has sought to get involved in efforts to end the conflict in Darfur.

In Khartoum, the minister of justice, Mohamed Ali al-Maradi, has said that the 51-year-old Slovene presidential adviser, Tomo Kriznar, who is being prosecuted in Al-Fashir in Northern Darfur State, has recorded a statement confessing to the filming of over 5,000 photographs and sending false email messages abroad saying that genocide was taking place in Darfur.

The minister told the press that the Slovene official was receiving excellent treatment as required by the law and that his lawyer was being allowed to visit him twice. He has been charged under immigration laws, as well as criminal and espionage laws.

Al-Maradi said the suspect had previously entered Sudan and worked in rebel camps in Nuba Mountains in 1998. Al-Maradi said the accused was transferred to Sudan through Chad by a German agricultural organization in Bayr Fandah area.

(ST/AP)

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