BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Laos released on Wednesday two European journalists and a U.S. citizen sentenced to 15 years' jail for involvement in the death of a village militiaman in a case which raised an international outcry. The U.S. embassy in Vientiane said Belgian Thierry Falise, Frenchman Vincent Reynaud and Naw Karl Mua, an American pastor of Laotian origin, had been put on a flight to neighbouring Thailand. Stay tuned to the next issue of The Lutheran for a full story about Pastor Mua's release.
A Lao court handed 15-year prison sentences to ELCA pastor Naw-Karl Mua, 44, Light of Life Lutheran Church, St. Paul, Minn., and two foreign journalists June 30. A Lao government official said the three cooperated with "bandits" in the killing of a Lao militiaman. He said they also were sentenced for possession of war weapons, explosives and drugs. Three Lao nationals also were sentenced for 15 years in the same trial.
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