American in jail in North Korea speaks with mother on the phone

7:34 AM, May 1, 2010   |    comments
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BOSTON (AP) -- A Boston man and Bowdoin graduate imprisoned in North Korea has been allowed to speak to his family.

Thaleia Schlesinger, a spokeswoman for the family of Aijalon Mahli Gomes, confirmed Friday that Gomes spoke with his mother on the phone from North Korea.

Schlesinger said Gomes' mother was very grateful to have the opportunity to speak with her son and hear his voice. Schlesinger said the woman was also grateful to the North Korean government for allowing him to call.

The spokeswoman declined to say what was discussed during the call or give details on Gomes' condition.

North Korea's highest court sentenced Gomes to eight years of hard labor and fined him $700,000 in early April. He was accused of entering the country illegally in January and of an unspecified "hostile act."

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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