SA man pardoned in US

2012-03-11 14:38

Johannesburg - A South African man convicted of being an accessory to murder and carjacking in the US has received a pardon and could be deported back to his home country, Reuters reports.

Azikiwe "Azi" Kambule, who had been sentenced to 35 years in jail, was one of more than 200 prisoners pardoned by former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour in January, before he left office.

Kambule left prison in Mississippi on Friday and was detained in Louisiana on an immigration charge. According to Reuters he may be deported back home.

He was convicted more than 15 years ago of carjacking and being an accessory to murder in the death of a Jackson, Mississippi, social worker.

Kambule's lawyer, Rob McDuff, said his youth at the time and the lengthy 35-year prison sentence were factors in Barbour granting him full clemency.

"He was a 17-year-old kid in a new country who was pressured by an older person into going along while that person carjacked and killed a woman," Reuters quoted McDuff saying.

"Azi was somebody who got caught up in something that went much further than anybody ever intended."

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