Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Monteiro released from prison in Togo

Ends nearly 22-month detainment; others still in jail after being convicted
Seventh-day Adventist Pastor Antonio Monteiro is back home with his family today after being released from prison after a nearly 22-month detainment. The case has been widely followed by the Adventist world church.│ANN photo

Seventh-day Adventist Pastor Antonio Monteiro was released from prison this afternoon in Lomé, Togo, ending a nearly two-year ordeal that kept him and four others detained on charges of conspiracy to commit murder in a case that captured the attention of the Adventist world church.

Monteiro was released from the Lomé Civil Prison at 4:30 p.m. today after being acquitted in a court verdict yesterday. Still in prison is Adventist Church member Bruno Amah, who was convicted by a jury and sentenced to life in prison. He is considering his legal options, including appealing the decision.

Monteiro today was greeted outside of prison by his legal team and officials from the denomination’s Sahel Union Mission, where Monteiro had worked since 2009 as the Family Ministries director. Monteiro is a native of the island nation of Cape Verde, and it’s expected that he will return there soon.

Adventist Church President Ted N. C. Wilson spoke to Monteiro by phone. Wilson said Monteiro thanked the world church for its support. Millions of Seventh-day Adventists worldwide had held prayer vigils, launched social media campaigns, sponsored letter-writing initiatives to government officials and diplomats, held press conferences and led a signature drive for a petition calling for the release of Monteiro and others involved in the case.

Church officials expressed “mixed feelings” over yesterday’s court ruling, which acquitted some and convicted others.

"The acquittal of Pastor Monteiro is good news and we are happy for him and his family. We are surprised and very sad about the condemnation of Amah," John Graz, Public Affairs and Religious Liberty director for the Adventist world church, said yesterday ... ► Read the entire article in ANN│Adventist News Service

Source: ANNAdventist News Service
Author: ANN Staff


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