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Monday, 10 June, 2002, 22:59 GMT 23:59 UK
EU concern over Equatorial Guinea trial
The European Union has expressed its grave concern to the authorities in Equatorial Guinea over the jailing of 68 people who allegedly planned to overthrow President Theodoro Obiang Nguema.

An EU statement urged Equatorial Guinea to reconsider the verdicts after reports that some confessions had been obtained under duress.

Earlier, an Amnesty International representative, Diego Postigo, said he had seen evidence of torture both before and during the trial in almost ninety per cent of the defendants.

The court sentenced the men, including opposition leaders and members of the army, to prison terms of between six and 20 years.

More than 70 other defendants were acquitted.

All the accused denied the charges.

Amnesty International said the convictions were aimed at spreading fear in advance of next year's elections.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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