|Margaret Hassan had lived in Iraq for 30 years.|
Iraqi sentenced in aid worker's death
BAGHDAD - An Iraqi court yesterday convicted a Sunni architect in the 2004 kidnap-slaying of British aid worker Margaret Hassan and sentenced him to life in prison. Her family appealed to him to reveal where her body is buried so that her remains can be returned to Britain.
The Irish-born Hassan, who was married to an Iraqi and had lived for 30 years in the country, was among the highest-profile figures to fall victim to the wave of kidnappings that swept the country in the early years of the war.
She was seized in October 2004 on her way to work in Baghdad, where she served as director of CARE International in Iraq.
Shortly after her abduction, a terrified Hassan, 59, was shown on a video trembling and pleading for her life as she urged then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair to withdraw British troops from Iraq. She was killed a month later and her body has not been found.
A three-judge panel handed down the sentence against Ali Lutfi al-Rawi, 36, after a one-day trial in Baghdad, convicting him of kidnapping, murder, and extortion.
The defendant, who had pleaded not guilty, showed no reaction as he was led away after the sentencing.
"We are content that this man has been found guilty," Hassan's family said in a statement issued in Britain. "However, he has still not revealed the whereabouts of Margaret's remains, which would enable us to bury her with the respect she deserves."