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CONGO

Norwegian inmate took own life: Congo

Tjostolv Moland, the Norwegian found dead in his cell in the Democratic Republic of Congo, most likely committed suicide, an investigation by Congolese authorities has concluded.

Norwegian inmate took own life: Congo
Joshua French and Tjostolv Moland at their appeal case in 2010 - Heiko Junge Scanpix
 
"The investigation ended today concludes that there is no reason to believe that the death was a crime of any kind," Major Tim Mukuntu, said on Wednesday, citing the lack of any evidence of physical violence on the body. "All the indications are that Moland took his own life." 
 
Moland's cell-mate Joshua French said he was relieved that the authorities had dropped the "absurd" claim that he had himself strangled his countryman.
 
"That was the most important thing for me," he said. 
 
French, 31, found his friend dead in their shared cell earlier this month, adding new impetus to Norwegian authorities' efforts to bring him home. 
 
Moland, who was 32, and French, a dual Norwegian-British citizen, were arrested in DR Congo in 2009 and sentenced to death in June 2010 after being convicted of killing the Congolese driver of a car they had rented.
 
Norwegian police sent a team of four to help investigate the death. Diplomats are now trying to bring Moland's body home and negotiate French's transfer to a prison in Norway.  
 
"Now we are going to put everything into a diplomatic solution to get French home," his lawyer Marius Graasvold told Norway's NTB on Tuesday night. 
 

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MOLAND

Director to make ‘truly successful’ Viking film

The Norwegian film director Hans Petter Moland has pledged to make the first "truly successful" Viking movie, based on The Long Ships, the classic 1940s novel by Frans G Bengtsson.

Director to make 'truly successful' Viking film
Sydney Poitier in The Long Ships 'Disaster'. Photo: Screen grab from film
Moland, who is in France for the Cannes film festival, told Aftenposten newspaper that the 1964 British-Yugoslav production of the story, The Long Ships, had been "a disaster". 
 
"The genius of Bengtsson's text is that it contains a solid political and social analysis of the time the Vikings lived in," Moland said. "We want to get under the skin of the people, both the Vikings and in the country's they travel to." 
 
Peter Albæk Jensen, the legendary producer with Zentropa, the Danish film company said that the planned Viking film would be special.  
 
"Can you name a single truly successful movie about Vikings?" he asked. "No, it is mostly gibberish and nonsense which has been made on this subject. It is time we rectify this," he said. 
 
The film will feature Moland's friend and longstanding collaborator Stellan Skarsgård. 
 
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