Fight for Slidell man's freedom from foreign jail gets stronger

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wwltv.com

Posted on November 20, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 20 at 8:00 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

SLIDELL, La. -- A Slidell family is becoming more worried and angry over their loved one’s imprisonment in an African country.

Mark McCabe has been detained in South Sudan since last month, when he went there on a business trip. He was set for trial on Thanksgiving on a kidnapping claim.

New health concerns Tuesday, including a mild heart attack in prison, are bringing a new sense of urgency to his family and the U.S. government.

McCabe’s wife, Anne, said the experience has been a roller coaster, and it’s only getting worse.

"We have your husband, OK he's been released, no he's been re-kidnapped, now he's back in prison, OK he's suffered a mild heart attack, now they won't release him until somebody takes his place," she said. "It's crazy."

"This seems to be one of those tragic, scary and dangerous situations,” said Sen. David Vitter, R-La.

But not a situation Vitter is backing away from. In addition to letters and phone calls to South Sudan, stressing out-of-country medical attention and humanitarian release from what he calls an unjustified arrest, Vitter upped the ante Tuesday and called into question the future of almost $500 million in American aid annually sent to South Sudan.

"If this case goes wrong, I said it will be a personal mission of mine that that stops,” said Vitter, “There are major negative consequences to their government, to our relationship."

McCabe said faith is fueling her family’s fight.

"There's one thing I know for a fact: In time, this will all end," she said. "That's what I hope for."

The prayers shared by many others are for it to end well.

There’s still no word as to whether McCabe will be allowed to get out-of-country treatment for his heart condition. There’s also no word about the status of his impending trial.

 

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