Rebel Rhodesian Bishop Donal Lamont, sentenced to ten years imprisonment with labour on Friday (1 October) for failing to report the presence of guerrilla at his mission near the Mozambique border, says he did not expect any mercy.
SVs: Bishop Donal Lamont arrives at court in Umtali, Rhodesia, and greeted by crowd of African women. (3 shots)
SVs: Lamont entering court. (2 shots)
SVs: African women spectators entering court. (2 shots)
SCU: Lamont out of court after hearing and interviewed by newsmen (speech in on reporter's question at 39 11.9 1.02) (speech out on Bishop at 60 18.3 1.36) and Lamont walking away.
REPORTER:"The ten-year sentence, Bishop -- was it more than you expected?"
BISHOP DONAL LAMONT: "No, it was not unexpected. One doesn't expect much mercy from..... (indistinct)....without principles.
REPORTER: "Are you hopeful of winning your appeal on this or do you think in fact you will go to prison?"
LAMONT: "I expect to go to prison, yes. I think it will be of great benefit to the church when I am honoured that I should be put in this position, really, to speak up....(indistinct -- drowned by babble of questions).
REPORTER:".....(indistinct -- drowned by babble)...see yourself as a martyr then?"
REPORTER:"As a martyr in the technical sense as one who bears witness to, not necessarily..it's not only associated with blood. Sometimes it's more difficult that way. Thank you."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Rebel Rhodesian Bishop Donal Lamont, sentenced to ten years imprisonment with labour on Friday (1 October) for failing to report the presence of guerrilla at his mission near the Mozambique border, says he did not expect any mercy.
SYNOPSIS: The 65 year-old Roman Catholic Bishop pleaded guilty to four charges, including inciting nuns not to report guerrillas. The Irish-born church leader is the Bishop of Umtali, on the Mozambique border. A well known critic of the government's race policies, he immediately said he would appeal. He was released on bail pending an appeal. The charges referred to a series of visits by guerrillas to one of the missions near the border run by the Bishop. Nuns reported the visits to the Bishop, who told them not to advise the authorities. He told the court he could not reconcile his Christian principles with the government's racial policies. 'I have pleaded guilty to the charges because I had no alternative,' he said. 'The good of the church had to be preserved at all costs, along with the lives of innocent villagers and the mission staff,' the court heard in a 33,000-word statement. Afterwards, he told newsmen he had not expected mercy.