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Last Updated: Monday, 30 April 2007, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
DR Congo court frees Bemba ally
Marie-Therese N'Landu
Marie-Therese Nlandu contested last year's elections
A military court in the Democratic Republic of Congo has freed a lawyer linked to opposition leader Jean-Pierre Bemba after four months in custody.

The major who headed the court said there was not enough evidence against Marie-Therese Nlandu and nine others.

She was charged in relation to violence in November last year, when the Supreme Court was set on fire.

She maintained that she was already in custody when the attack occurred during a protest by Mr Bemba's supporters.

Mrs Nlandu has reportedly been very ill during her time in prison, and has been repeatedly denied adequate medical treatment, according to campaign group Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

Her family is working towards bringing her back to the UK, where she lives, as soon as possible.

Mrs Nlandu's husband, Professor Noel Mbala, said:

"Although I am saddened that Marie-Therese had to endure all of this alone and away from me and the children, I am very thankful to God and to all of those who helped us.

"This case demonstrates the good side of globalisation - people can now act internationally on something in a remote part of the world."

Human rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have campaigned for her release.

Mrs Nlandu was a candidate in her own right in last year's presidential elections but was eliminated in the first round.

She then worked in Mr Bemba's team for the run-off, in which he was defeated by President Joseph Kabila.

Mr Bemba has now left DR Congo for Portugal, after being accused of treason following gun-battles in Kinshasa last month.


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