Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Aijalon Mahli Gomes sentenced to eight years of hard labor by North Korea

American Aijalon Mahli Gomes, 30, detained in North Korea for illegally entering the country, was sentenced to eight years of hard labor.

Gomes must also pay a fine of 70 million North Korean won, the North Korean agency said. According to on-line currency conversion sites, 70 million North Korean won is equivalent to approximately US$489,000. Using the newly devalued currency rate, it's closer to US$700,000.

KCNA referred to his illegal border-crossing as a "hostile act committed against the Korean nation." Gomes "admitted all the facts which had been put under accusation," KCNA reported.

Representatives from the Swedish embassy were allowed to witness Gomes' trial, KCNA reported.

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