AFGHANISTAN. KIDNAPPERS OF ITALIAN AID WORKER SENTENCED TO DEATH
December 22, 2005: the leader of an Afghan gang that kidnapped an Italian aid worker in May, was sentenced to death, along with an accomplice, for the earlier kidnapping and killing of an Afghan businessman.
Preliminary court judge Noorudin Basit announced the sentences after a one-day trial in the Afghan capital.
Gang leader Timoor Shah had been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the kidnap of aid worker Clementia Cantoni.
Cantoni, who worked for the Care International aid agency, was released unharmed three weeks after gunmen snatched her from her car in Kabul.
Shah was sentenced to death for the kidnapping and killing earlier in the year of businessman Hafizullah Zadran, Basit said.
One of Shah's accomplices, Farhad (one name) was also sentenced to death for his involvement in Zadran's killing. He received a 20-year sentence for his part in Cantoni's abduction.
Another gang member, Assadullah (one name), was jailed for 20 years for his role in Cantoni's kidnapping, Basit said.
The judge said all three men could appeal against their sentences.
Shah was re-arrested in Kabul in September weeks after he was freed through the intervention of an army general, officials said at the time. He was initially arrested in August but was released after a general pulled rank and intervened in what the Defence Ministry said was a case of mistaken identity. (Sources: Reuters, 22/12/2005)