‘French exposed to Kafka process’ – legal expert / News / The Foreigner

The Foreigner ‘French exposed to Kafka process’ – legal expert. Democratic Republic of Congo court judge sentences Norwegian Joshua French to life imprisonment for the murder of Tjostolv Moland. French’s late friend and fellow cellmate was found dead in his cell in Kinshasa jail August 18th last year. It was believed at the time that he had taken his own life. Nevertheless, Congolese authorities had raised questions regarding alcohol and sedatives after Moland’s autopsy. 

joshuafrench, congotrial



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‘French exposed to Kafka process’ – legal expert

Published on Thursday, 20th February, 2014 at 10:08 under the news category, by Linn Schjerven and Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 2nd March 2014 at 08:22.

Democratic Republic of Congo court judge sentences Norwegian Joshua French to life imprisonment for the murder of Tjostolv Moland.



French’s late friend and fellow cellmate was found dead in his cell in Kinshasa jail August 18th last year.

It was believed at the time that he had taken his own life. Nevertheless, Congolese authorities had raised questions regarding alcohol and sedatives after Moland’s autopsy. 

Traces of benzodiazepine – a type of sedative – were found in Tjostolv Moland’s urine. These were allegedly administered by Joshua French prior to the discovery of the body. Congolese and Norwegian experts disagreed on the levels.

There had also been conflicting conclusions surrounding the alcohol question, though both led to the same outcome regarding the verdict.

French had explained during the hearing both of them had drunk a whole bottle of vodka the night before Moland was found dead.

Judge Serge Kabondo argued that the high level of alcohol experts found in Moland’s body meant that he would have been too drunk to take his own life.

Prosecutor Katenda Nkulu had already challenged the statement that either of them had drunk any alcohol.

Toxicology reports showed Tjostolv Moland’s blood alcohol level was 2.7 per mill.

“It is impossible that Moland would have been able to take his own life. The suicide theory is ruled out,” the Judge stated.  

Judge Serge Kabondo also believed that French had intended to drink less than Moland in order to carry out the act for which he has been sentenced. 

The Court concluded without any doubt that French had intended to murder Moland, according to Aftenposten.

At the same time, reports say the Judge ignored several points from French’s own explanation of the tragic incident and medical reports Norwegian and Congolese experts handed out.

The relatively clear conclusions drawn by testimony from Norwegian expert witnesses Tom Luka and Arne Stray-Pedersen were allegedly not taken into account.

Njål Høstmælingen, managing director and partner at private foundation The International Law and Policy Institute in Oslo told NRK that “Joshua French has been exposed to a Kafka process.”

“It seems like there’s a huge gap between evidence presented in court and the conclusion the judge has reached.”

Mr. Høstmælingen further argued that it seemed like the verdict had largely been decided upon beforehand.

“We fail to comprehend why French has been convicted of murder in light of the fact that Congolese and Norwegian investigators came to a common conclusion that Moland had taken his own life,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende told NTB.

The Minster added they will continue efforts to get dual Norwegian and British national Joshua French transferred to Norway to serve his prison sentence.

French is already serving four sentences in Ndolo prison, but this is the first time he has been convicted of murder. 


Published on Thursday, 20th February, 2014 at 10:08 under the news category, by Linn Schjerven and Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 2nd March 2014 at 08:22.

This post has the following tags: joshuafrench, congotrial.


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