Algeria pardons Dutch drug smuggler

9th December 2008, Comments 0 comments

Berry Dovens, 51, is released from an Algerian jail after 17 years.

AMSTERDAM - Algeria pardoned a 51-year-old Dutch drug smuggler. The pardon was issued to coincide with Eid al-Adha, the Muslim celebration for the prophet Abraham.

Berry Dovens is expected to be released on Wednesday and to return to the Netherlands.

Dovens was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1993 after being caught at the Moroccan border with 2,400 kilos of hashish in his van. In the past few years his sentence was reduced to 20 years.

Mr Dovens was in an Algerian jail since 1991 where he was the only known Dutch prisoner.

Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen discussed the case with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika earlier in December during a working visit, and says she is pleased with the release.

[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]

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