British teacher in Sudan court over teddy Mohammed

London, Nov 29 (DPA) British teacher Gillian Gibbons appeared in a court in the Sudanese capital Khartoum Thursday, facing charges of inciting religious hatred for letting her pupils name a teddy bear Mohammed.

Gibbons looked tired and distressed but was not handcuffed, reports in London said.

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According to reports, the Sudanese prosecutor general said that Gibbons could expect a swift and fair trial under Sudanese law.

Later Thursday, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband was due to discuss the case with Sudan’s Ambassador to London Omer Mohamed Ahmed Siddig.

The case has sparked a string of protests in London and condemnation from the main Muslim organization in Britain, the Muslim Council of Britain.

Earlier Thursday, a spokesman for the Sudanese embassy in London said he “hoped and prayed” that Gibbons would be back in Britain soon.

Khalid al-Mubarak, Sudanese embassy spokesman in a BBC interview, said he believed Gibbons’ decision to allow her pupils to name their class teddy Mohammed was “an honest mistake.”

“It should have been discussed at school level but there was a complaint from some irate parents who pressed the case and it went to the ministry of education. That is why it went outside the school,” al-Mubarak told BBC Breakfast television.

Asked if he believed Gibbons could be back in Britain soon, he said, “This is my hope and my prayer.”