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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 March 2007, 09:58 GMT
Angola spy accused 'free to go'
Sarah Wykes
Sarah Wykes was arrested in Angola's oil-rich province Cabinda
A human rights worker held in Angola on suspicion of espionage has been told she can return to the UK.

Sarah Wykes from Cumbria was working for charity Global Witness when she was held in the oil-rich Cabinda province.

On Wednesday the country's prosecutor general said Ms Wykes was free to go, according to the BBC's correspondent in the Angolan capital, Luanda.

But her sister Caroline Kennedy said she was still waiting for official confirmation of her release.

The anti-corruption campaigner had flown to Angola on 11 February and arrived in Cabinda with a colleague a few days later.

Shortly afterwards she was arrested and accused of espionage.

Her sister said she was being cautious about news of her impending release.

There are still hoops to go through and formalities to be completed
Caroline Kennedy, sister

Mrs Kennedy, who lives in Carlisle, said: "I spoke to Sarah last night and she said the news is very encouraging, but her lawyers haven't received any official notification.

"She said there are still hoops to go through and formalities to be completed. Her lawyer is trying to get something concrete.

"But we are really grateful to all the people in Cumbria who have worked on her behalf.

"Many people have written to MPs, who in turn have passed their names onto the Home Office, and this has made a big difference."

Ms Wykes may still face charges in Angola and could have to return to the country if a trial is held.

However, it remains unclear exactly what she has been accused of.

Global Witness has condemned the actions of the Angolan authorities, and described the case against her as "baseless".


SEE ALSO
Release hope for spy claim woman
28 Feb 07 |  Cumbria
Poverty and war in Cabinda
27 Oct 02 |  From Our Own Correspondent
Country profile: Angola
02 Mar 07 |  Country profiles

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