A Sudanese court has sentenced Slovenian president’s special envoy Tomo Kriznar to two years in jail for spying and entering the country illegally, news agencies are reporting. He was involved in the peace processÂ Â between Sudan’s government and rebels in the troubled Darfur region.
The Sudanese minister of Justice, Mohamed Ali al-Mardhi, said that Al-Fashir Criminal Court Monday convicted the Slovenian Tomo Kriznar under Article 53 of the Criminal Law for 1991 (espionage) and Article 66 of the same law (publishing false news) and Article 10 of the Passports, Migration and Nationality Act for 1994 (entering Sudan without an entry visa), the Sudan Tribune writes today. The court sentenced the defendant to two years imprisonment and a fine of 500,000 dinars and confiscation of exhibits found with the defendant of photography equipment and films. The court ruled that the defendant should be expelled after serving his prison term, the Sudan Tribune says.
The envoy is a well-known human rights activist in Slovenia and was arrested in July for not having a valid visa. At an earlier court hearing Kriznar admitted entering Darfur without a Sudanese visa, but denied the spying charges. According to earlier reports by the official news agency Suna, Sudanese investigators said Kriznar, who is well-known in Slovenia as a human rights activist and best-selling writer, was taking pictures and shooting video material of villages around Darfur. Reportedly, he had uncovered evidence of mass graves in the region. The conflict in Darfur, a vast region in western Sudan, started in 2003. It is estimated that more than 200,000 people have died and more than two million have fled their homes during the conflict.