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Congolese journalist convicted of spreading false information expected to be freed soon

GOMA, Congo (AP) — Congolese journalist Stanis Bujakera was set to be freed soon after a court found him guilty and sentenced him Monday to six months in prison for spreading false information among other charges, according to media freedom group Reporters Without Borders.

He was expected to be released hours or days after the verdict, having already served more than six months while waiting for trial. A court in Kinshasa also fined him 1 million Congolese francs ($360.)

Bujakera worked for Actualité.CD, a Congolese online news site, and Jeune Afrique, a Paris-based magazine, among others.

Bujakera, who has denied all charges, had faced up to 20 years in prison. He was accused of fabricating a memo that implicated a Congolese intelligence official in the murder of an opposition spokesman.

“He should never have been arrested, prosecuted, imprisoned and convicted on the basis of a case that was clearly fabricated against him,” Reporters without Borders said in a statement.

Actualité.CD said in a statement that it stood behind Bujakera’s reporting and called on his lawyers to appeal the guilty verdict.

Bujakera's imprisonment drew widespread condemnation from international rights organizations.

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