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Two men condemned to death for killing Chinese oil workers

September 7, 2010 (KHARTOUM) - Two Sudanese men allegedly affiliated to an armed rebel group in Darfur have been convicted and sentenced to death by hanging for killing four Chinese oil workers and a Sudanese solider in the Kordofan region in 2008.

Idris Bahar and Ahmad Adam faced trial in the Khartoum North Criminal Courtroom under charges of criminal complicity, vandalism, kidnapping and premeditated murder. They were found guilty of kidnapping and the killing of four Chinese aid workers, as well as a Sudanese solider who was killed in a failed rescue operation by the authorities.

Fifteen suspects were originally arrested in relation to the case. However, 13 of them were acquitted due to insufficient evidence.

The court said that the two convicts, who belong to the Arab nomadic Al-Misiriyyah tribe, had made judicial confessions stating that they were affiliated to the Kordofan sector of the Darfur rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement. The two convicts denied any role in the abduction.

The court has given the prosecutor a period of 45 days to contact families of the victims and ask them whether they want punishment or wergilds.

The convict’s defense lawyer, Abu Bakr, told Reuters Tuesday that he would “be approaching the Chinese ambassador to Sudan and the families of the victims to support payments to the families of the two tribesmen so that they would not be put to death by hanging.”

(ST)