Britain voices 'concern' over disappearance of Hassan killer

23rd July 2010, Comments 0 comments

British Foreign Secretary William Hague voiced "concerns" to his Iraqi counterpart on Friday over the apparent disappearance from prison of aid worker Margaret Hassan's convicted killer.

Hague's telephone conversation with Hoshyar Zebari came a week after a lawyer for Hassan's family said the director of Iraq's prisoner transfer system had told a judge the killer's whereabouts were unknown.

Hague "raised his concerns about the suspected disappearance from Iraqi custody of Ali Lutfi Jassar al-Rawi, who was appealing his conviction relating to the kidnapping and murder of UK national Margaret Hassan in 2004," a statement from the British embassy in Baghdad said.

"Mr Zebari assured Mr Hague that the Iraqi government were aware of the case and were keen to ensure justice."

Ali Lutfi Jassar was sentenced to life in prison on June 2 last year for his role in one of the most high-profile murders to follow the US-led invasion of 2003, a crime which sparked international revulsion and widespread sympathy.

Dublin-born Hassan, whose body has never been found, had lived in Iraq for 30 years before being taken hostage in October 2004 and shot a month later.

The 59-year-old was head of operations in Iraq for the humanitarian group Care International for around 12 years before she was pulled from her car by men in police uniform as she was being driven to work.

Lawyers for Jassar have claimed that an alleged confession put before the court of first instance was extracted under torture.

© 2010 AFP

0 Comments To This Article