Danville doctor awaits arraignment in Africa

July 18, 2004|EMILY BURTON

More details are emerging on the plight of a retired Danville urologist who was detained in Zimbabwe, and a State Department official is hopeful charges against him will be dropped.

Dr. Ed Montgomery was arrested July 5 on charges of practicing without a license while working at a regional hospital in Zimbabwe, located just north of South Africa, said Jason Sauer, a spokesman for Congressman Ben Chandler.

Chandler's office has been in contact with an unnamed State Department official who is familiar with the situation, Sauer said.

Montgomery and his wife, Sara Jane, a nurse, had been on a missionary trip in Zimbabwe for about two weeks when the doctor was detained. Both Montgomerys were stripped of their passports and have been unable to make regular contact with family members.

The Montgomerys, veterans of several mission trips around the world, were traveling with friends and fellow missionaries when the doctor was arrested.


According to the State Department official, the doctor has since been released from custody and is tentatively scheduled for arraignment on Thursday. Sauer said the source indicated there was "a good possibility" the charges against Dr. Montgomery could be dropped.

The Montgomery's eldest daughter, Ashley Montgomery, has been serving as a spokeswoman for the family. According to Ashley Montgomery, her mother first e-mailed her about the arrest last week but subsequent letters have been censored and undated.

"It's been a stressful situation," Ashley Montgomery said.

Dr. Montgomery has been a prominent member of the Danville medical community, even after his recent retirement. His career includes a lengthy service with Ephraim McDowell Health, where currently he is a board member. He is a founding director of the Kentucky Trust Co. and has served as the medical director for Central Kentucky Physicians Inc.

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