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Panama court orders release of jailed North Korean sailors

Published on Jun 28, 2014 10:10 AM

PANAMA CITY (REUTERS) - A Panamanian court has ordered the release of three North Korean ship officers who were jailed after they were caught smuggling Cuban weapons through the Central American country.

The court on Friday absolved the captain and two officers, ruling that charges against them fell outside of Panama's jurisdiction, the country's judicial authority said in a statement.

The Chong Chon Gang ship was seized in July last year for smuggling Soviet-era arms, including two MiG-21 jet fighters, under thousands of tonnes of sugar.

Thirty-two North Korean sailors and the ship were released back in February.

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