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Congo. Polish traveler Mariusz Majewski sentenced to life in prison for espionage. Intervention of the president and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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Polish traveler Mariusz Majewski was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Congo on charges of espionage – he was supposed to travel along the front line with a local militia and take photos of strategic places. On Friday, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrzej Szejna announced that Majewski “is not a spy, he belongs to a travelers' club” and “his behavior resulted from ignorance of local customs.” President Andrzej Duda is to intervene in the case of the imprisoned Pole.

On March 23, Pole Mariusz Majewski appeared before a military tribunal in Congo, where he was charged with sabotage and destruction of installations of the Congolese Armed Forces – Interia reported. According to investigators, the Polish traveler allegedly “approached the front line with Mobondo militiamen; moved along the front line without authorization from the competent authorities and without the company of qualified agents; took photos of sensitive and strategic places; secretly observed military activities.”

A Pole convicted of espionage. The reaction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

On May 23, Majewski, accused of espionage, was sentenced to life imprisonment, which was announced on Friday by Paweł Wroński, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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– Mr. Mariusz Majewski is not a spy, he is a man who belongs to a travelers' club and this is how he pursues his passions. As a result of a coincidence and events, he found himself in the Republic of the Congo, his behavior resulted from ignorance of local customs. We hope that this very harsh and drastic sentence will be changed in subsequent instances, said Wroński.

He added that the President of the Republic of Poland would soon intervene in the case of the convicted Polish citizen Andrzej Duda. He noted that earlier representatives of the ministry's management, Deputy Minister Andrzej Szejna and Deputy Minister Henryka Mościcka-Dendys, had intervened and contacted representatives of the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: I call on you to carefully consider the place of travel

– We are aware of the very difficult political situation in Congo, the ongoing civil war there and the recent coup attempt. However, we hope that justice will prevail in this matter and Mariusz Majewski will not be involved in a situation that is beyond his control, said Wroński.

He noted that “the situation with a Polish citizen in Congo is not the only recent case.” – I urge everyone to carefully consider where they travel. If someone is going to the heart of darkness, it may happen that no one will be able to help them for a very long time – warned Wroński.

In mid-April, when asked on Radio Zet about the release of a Polish traveler from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Deputy Minister Szejna said that “a positive decision has been made.” – He is provided with consular and medical assistance, he is under our care – he added.

When asked then whether this meant there was a chance for the traveler's release, the deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs replied: “Yes. It only concerns formal situations, including the change of government.” He added that there is a new prime minister in the Democratic Republic of Congo. – This decision must be made by the prosecutor general; this decision has already been made, but he must accept it (the prime minister of this country – ed.) – he emphasized.

Main photo source: HUGH KINSELLA CUNNINGHAM/PAP



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