Sudanese authorities release killer of US diplomat John Granville

Al-Yurae- Khartoum-Sudanese authorities on Monday released the Jihaist Abderraouf Abu Zeid, who was facing the death penalty for killing US diplomat John Granville and his Sudanese driver Abdulrahman on a Khartoum street in 2008 while returning from a New Year’s celebration.
About two weeks ago, Abdul Raouf went on hunger strike to protest the length of his detention, in addition to what he described as the harsh treatment he is subjected to in solitary confinement, despite his deteriorating health conditions, and complained in a letter addressed to the President of the Sovereignty Council and the President of the Judiciary about the treatment he receives in prison.
Abdul Malik Abu Zeid, brother of the released Abdul Raouf Abu Zeid, said that he received at ten o’clock in the morning on Monday a call from the administration of Kober prison in Khartoum North, asking him to come to the prison to receive his brother based on the decision issued recently by the Supreme Court in Khartoum.

“My brother was released under the settlement made by the government of former Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok with the families of the victims of terrorist attacks to lift economic sanctions and remove Sudan’s name from the list of state sponsors of terrorism,” he told the London based ( Independent Arabia), but as a family they did not pay any amount to the family of the US diplomat, nor do they have details in this regard.
“My brother received this pardon with great joy, and he is in full health, and he wants to devote himself to taking care of his family, his wife, daughter (17 years old) and son (12 years old), away from the spotlight because he suffered a lot in the previous period,” Abdelmalek said. He has also completely abandoned extremist ideas, conducting intellectual revisions in which he rejected extremism and extremism of all kinds, and wants to practice his normal life as an ordinary citizen without being associated with any group or organization.”

Adel Abdel Ghani, defense lawyer for death row Abdelraouf Abu Zeid, explained that “Abu Zeid’s release was based on the agreement signed between the Government of Sudan and the US Government regarding compensation for terrorism-related cases, and the court considered based on that agreement, that the compensation funds were paid to all the families of the victims, including the family of the American diplomat (Granville) who was killed, which means the fall of retribution as a private right. With regard to the common law, I decided to settle for the number of years the defendant spent in prison, which is about 15 years.”

Abdul Ghani noted that the father of the second victim, Abdulrahman Abbas, a Sudanese driver, had waived before the court and pardoned those convicted against his son.

As for the rest of the other three convicts, two of them were killed in Somalia, while the third is still hiding with an extremist movement, after the defendants managed to escape from prison and re-arrest the convict Abdiraouf alone without the rest.

A Khartoum court previously sentenced Abderraouf Abu Zeid, Mohamed Makkawi, Abdulbasit al-Hajj and Muhannad Osman to death after convicting them of killing Granville on New Year’s Eve 2008, but the rest of the convicts escaped from prison in a qualitative operation before Muhannad and Makkawi were later killed.

The assassination of U.S. diplomat John Michael Granville shook Khartoum and affected Sudanese-U.S. relations for many years. Granville was 33 years old when he was killed and held a senior position at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)..

The perpetrators opened fire on the car carrying Granville from its southern side, while it was traveling on Abdullah Al-Tayeb Street in Khartoum, and the incident resulted in the injury of the American diplomat with five injuries to the hand, shoulder and abdomen. He was treated in a hospital and operated on and died a few hours later, in critical condition as a result of the serious injuries he received.

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