MAURITANIA: DEATH SENTENCE FOR KILLER OF AMERICAN
March 15, 2011: A Mauritanian court handed down the death penalty to the main perpetrator of the murder of American educator Christopher Legget in the capital Nouakchott in June 2009.
Mohamed Abdallahi Ould H'Mednah was sentenced to death, while his co-accused Didi Ould Bezeid and Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Khouna received 12-year and three-year prison terms, respectively.
The defence condemned the sentences as "severe" and said they would appeal.
Leggett was killed in broad daylight with three bullets to the head on June 23, 2009, in the centre of Nouakchott while he was getting out of his car in front of the school of English and information technology that he had directed for several years.
His killers at first tried to kidnap him, but when he put up strong resistance, they shot him, according to witnesses of the incident.
Responsibility for the murder was claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), an organisation that announced its allegiance to Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in 2006. (Sources: Afp, 15/03/2011)