Family says Sudanese man convicted of killing US diplomat

CAIRO—Sudanese authorities have released a man convicted of killing a US diplomat in a drive-by shooting in the capital Khartoum in 2008, his family said Tuesday.

Abdel Rauf Abu Zayed, designated a terrorist by the United States, was arrested weeks after the shooting. He was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of John Granville, a US Agency for International Development official, and Granville’s Sudanese driver.

According to his brother Abdelmalek Abu Zayed, who posted pictures of the outside of the prison on social media after Abdelrauf’s release, Abu Zayed has spent most of the past 15 years in prison at Khartoum’s Qubal Prison, released on Monday. .

Abdel-Malek did not give details, but Sudani, one of the country’s daily newspapers, reported that the Abu Zaid family paid bloody money to the murdered driver’s family. Under Islamic law, or sharia, which Sudan’s judiciary follows, prisoners can be pardoned if the victim’s family is financially compensated.

A spokesman for Sudan’s ruling military declined to comment on the matter. Other officials could not be reached for comment.

The US State Department said it was aware of reports of the release of Abdel-Raouf Abu Zaid, who was designated a terrorist by the US in 2013, and was seeking more information from authorities in Khartoum.

The State Department said it would “seek full responsibility for the murders” of Granville and his driver, Abdel Rahman Abbas Rahma.

Earlier this month, Abu Zayed’s family apologized for the killing of Granville and his driver, saying in a video message: What happened. “

Three other men were sentenced to death along with Abu Zayed, and a fifth man was sentenced to two years for providing the weapons used in the attack.

A Sudanese police officer was killed in a shootout in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman in June 2010 after four prisoners awaiting hanging escaped, according to a Sudanese notification to Interpol. and another was injured.

Abu Zayed was re-arrested a few weeks later and returned to Qubar prison. The other three men were never recaptured. Two of his later died in Somalia, and a third still lives there, according to local reports.

In 2020, Sudan’s former interim government Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok reached an agreement with the Trump administration to halt future compensation claims filed against the African country in US courts.

This is because Sudan has committed $335 million to settle damages lawsuits in U.S. courts related to the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in the port of Aden in southern Yemen. 17 Marines died after the dollar was paid. Murder of Granville.

Granville, 33, was a USAID employee. He worked to implement his 2005 peace deal between the north and south of Sudan, which ended more than two decades of civil war.

In the early hours of January 1, 2008, as he was driving home from a New Year’s Eve party, another vehicle intercepted his vehicle, and gunmen inside opened fire on Granville’s car, killing him and his brother. driver and USAID employee also died. The attackers then fled the scene.