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Gambia missionary freed from jail

A British missionary has been freed from a Gambian jail after serving more than 20 months for sedition, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has confirmed.

The FCO said it was informed of David Fulton's release on Friday but could not confirm if he had returned to the UK yet.

Mr Fulton's wife Fiona, who is originally from Torquay, Devon, was freed in December last year and deported back to the UK after serving a year of hard labour for sedition.

The couple were jailed in December 2008 for allegedly sending a letter to individuals and groups criticising the West African state's government.

In a statement at the time, Mr Fulton, originally of Troon, Ayrshire, apologised to the Gambian public and the country's president.

A spokesman for the FCO said: "We can confirm Mr Fulton has been released from detention."

At the time of his wife's release the FCO said Mr Fulton, 61, was serving three years' imprisonment on an additional charge of forgery.

The couple were reportedly advised to admit the sedition charges in an attempt to win a less stringent punishment. The tactic arguably failed when the hard labour sentence was handed out. The pair pleaded guilty in December 2008 in a Gambian court and were sentenced and also fined £6,250 each.

The Fultons moved to Gambia 13 years ago to work as missionaries. Mr Fulton worked as a chaplain in the Gambian Army while his wife looked after terminally-ill people, visiting women in their homes and in hospital.

The pair were arrested at their home in Kerr Serign, an hour's drive from Banjul in the African bush, and charged with undermining the government.

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