Baghdad: An Iraqi court Sunday sentenced an
al-Qaeda fighter to death for the kidnap and murder of five
Russian diplomats in June 2006, a judicial official said.
No details were given about the man, the first to be
convicted in connection with the killings, after the trial at
Karkh Criminal Court in west Baghdad, except that he belonged
"The conviction was made according to anti-terrorism
laws, over the kidnap and murder of five Russian employees
working for the embassy of their country in Baghdad," a
judicial official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"It was a heinous crime against diplomats. Their aim was
to force countries to withdraw their embassies from Baghdad,
as al-Qaeda and other extremist terrorist groups were seeking
The official added that the five had all either been
killed by gunfire or by having their throats cut.
Four of the embassy employees were abducted when gunmen
attacked their vehicle in the west Baghdad neighbourhood of
Mansur on June 3, 2006. A fifth Russian diplomat was killed
during the kidnapping.
The killings, which were claimed at the time by an
insurgent group led by al-Qaeda, prompted condemnation from
many countries, including the United States and the European