Judge's passport is confiscated in Rep. of Congo

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Associated Press

Posted on September 11, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 11 at 10:34 AM

BRAZZAVILLE, Republic of Congo (AP) — A judge who recently convicted six soldiers for their role in an explosion which killed close to 300 people in the Republic of Congo last year, told a private television station that security forces prevented him from flying to neighboring Benin.

Judge Mathurin Bayi told DRTV television that two policemen on Tuesday seized his passport and ordered him off an airplane refueling in Pointe-Noire, the country's second-largest city. He said the officers sent him on a different plane back to Brazzaville. The judge said he was on his way to Benin to attend a conference.

Although the sentences handed down to the soldiers were viewed as lenient by the families of the victims, the case reportedly riled the military, which has a history of impunity in this Central African nation.

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