IRAQI COURT HANDS DEATH SENTENCE FOR MURDER OF JAPANESE HOSTAGE
November 22, 2006: an Iraqi court sentenced to death an al-Qaida operative over the 2004 kidnapping and beheading of a Japanese hostage. Hussein Fahmi was arrested earlier in 2006 and confessed to beheading 24-year-old Japanese backpacker Shosei Koda, according to Iraqi officials. Fahmi, who told investigators he carried out 115 other beheadings, was sentenced to death for Koda's murder by the Iraqi central criminal court.
Fahmi told the court, "I didn't kill anyone," after hearing his death sentence.
Koda was killed in October 2004 by a militant group then led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi after Japan refused to bow to their demands and pull its troops out of Iraq. The group claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and beheading in a Web posting that included a gruesome video of the killing. Koda's decapitated body was found wrapped in an American flag in a Baghdad street. (Sources: The Associated Press, 22/11/2006)