13 nerve-racking hours

Hans Marius Graasvold, nerve-racking hoursKinshasa, Congo.Lawyer. Hans Marius Graasvold (middle).Photo: Marte Christensen / NTB scanpix

French’s lawyer told that it was excruciatingly nerve-racking before the plane took off from Congo

There were 13 nerve-racking hours from the moment when Joshua French’s release was approved by the Congo’s president, to the moment when the plane carrying French took off from the runway on its flight out of the country, according to VG newspaper.


The release document was signed by President Joseph Kabila at approximately 10 am on Tuesday, with the Minister of Justice present.


After that it  took 13 hours before a special dispatch, and diplomat, Arild Øyen, received a landing permit for the plane, together  with health personnel, to carry Joshua French out of Congo, reports VG.

‘There were some unbelievably nail-biting hours, right up until the end. Not until the plane was actually out of Congolese airspace did we know for sure that we could  finally relax. There was very much to be done,’ said French’s lawyer, Hans Marius Graasvold.

The Norwegians working on the case had previously experienced believing that a release was imminent, but everything going down the plughole at the last moment.

Prime Minister in suspense

Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, waited for the plane to be  airborne before contacting Kari Hilde French to tell her that her son was free.

‘She was concerned about the plane being out of Congolese airspace. It says a bit about how we have previously experienced the ups and downs,’said Solberg.

Joshua French arrived in Norway on the morning of May 17th and was immediately admitted to hospital for treatment.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today