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Swedish safari guide freed from African prison

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10:14 CEST+02:00
Swedish safari guide Erik Mararv, charged with the murder of 13 people in the Central African Republic, has been released after all the charges against him were dropped.

”I have spoken to Erik and he has confirmed that the prosecutor has dropped the whole case,” wife Emelie Mararv said to daily Expressen.

Erik Mararv, 27, who heads the big game Central African Wildlife Adventures Company, was arrested in March together with 11 of his employees after the bodies of 13 miners were discovered in Ngungunza.

Photos of the dead men, discovered on March 29th, showed them to have been bound with their hands behind their backs and beaten or stabbed to death, police had earlier said.

The Swede has from the outset insisted he had nothing to do with the killings.

“In the southern part of our hunting grounds there is a place where they pan gold in a stream. We were building roads in that area, and we had some employees from central Africa working with us. They went down to the stream to fetch water and found dead people. They called my husband and asked him what to do,” Emelie Mararv told daily Expressen at the time of her husband's arrest in mid-April.

The organization Human Rights Watch wrote on their website in April that they have documented several attacks in the region, suspected to having been carried out by The Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group, “including a massacre of 13 artisanal gold diggers in the Cawa Safari camp area around March 20”.

“The victims were beaten to death with machetes and pieces of wood. Some were tied up or stripped naked before they were killed. The LRA is the only armed group suspected to have been active in the camp area recently,” the organization wrote at the time.

Mararv was let out of prison in July on sick leave and has since been under house arrest at his home in the country.

“We're just waiting for the official release papers now, and we expect to have them by Monday, “said Emelie Mararv to Expressen.

While Mararv has been detained, his wife and two small children have been staying in Sweden.

“They think it is weird that daddy isn't with us but they are too young to understand what has happened,” Emelie Mararv told the paper.

As soon as Mararv has been officially released the family is planning to reunite in Sweden and then travel back together to their African estate.

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