Canadian evangelical on trial in Lebanon for spying
Bruce Balfour went to Lebanon to replant the country's biblical cedars. He's now on trial on charges of spying for Israel against Hizbollah guerrillas and the Lebanese army.
"I expect him to be found innocent because there is no serious evidence against him," his lawyer, Ibrahim al-Hariri, told Reuters. "This is not a judicial trial, it is ideological."
The trial has been postponed several times since his July 10 arrest as the prosecution has attempted to "find" witnesses.
Many officials in the Canadian government and many Canadian evangelicals are outraged by the arrest. (Balfour's organization has many past news articles on its site)
Andrei Okhotin likely to go free this week
Meanwhile, similarly trumped up charges against Harvard Divinity School student and Baptist missionary Andrew Okhotin continue to be discussed in a Moscow court.
The 28-year-old is charged with smuggling $48,000 into the country. He declared the money—intended for local Baptist churches and ministries—on a form, but mistakenly walked down the wrong customs corridor at the airport. He says customs agents only arrested him after he refused their demands for bribes of $10,000 and $5,000.
But Okhotin says it's the money, not his freedom that he's concerned about. "I would like to ask you to give the money back," he told the court yesterday. "It doesn't matter what decision you will make about me."1
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