Africa frees Yorkshire pilot who uncovered ‘Joseph Kony’ massacre

David Simpson (left)
David Simpson (left)
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A PILOT from North Yorkshire who was jailed in Africa on suspicion of mass murder after discovering the victims of an apparent massacre is back in the UK after being cleared of all charges, William Hague said.

The Foreign Secretary welcomed the return of David Simpson, who was arrested five months ago in the Central African Republic after he stumbling upon a gruesome scene in the bush involving 13 bodies and informing local officials.

The 24-year-old was held in Ngaragba Central Prison in the capital, Bangui, before being put under temporary house arrest after the jail was stormed by rioters and destroyed earlier this month.

Mr Simpson, who worked as a manager and pilot for a Swedish safari company, was released on medical grounds last month after a malaria attack before being officially told he was a free man by the presiding judge in the case.

The pilot, whose family runs a pheasant farm in Gillamoor, North Yorkshire, found the bodies in March as he was going through dense forest in Bakouma, an area in the south-east of the country.

They were tied together and mutilated.

Many commentators have linked the killings to supporters of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Mr Hague said: “I am delighted to confirm that David Simpson is now back in the UK.

“Government Ministers and officials have worked hard on his behalf. I raised the case with Central African Republic Foreign Minister Gambi in August and am pleased that his case has now been resolved.

“Foreign Office Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, has spoken to Mr Simpson’s family to pass on his and my best wishes.”