IRAQ. CHURCH OPPOSES DEATH PENALTY FOR ARCHBISHOP'S KILLER
May 19, 2008: the Archbishop of Kirkuk, Louis Sako, said that the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq opposed the death penalty passed by an Iraqi court on the convicted killer of an archbishop in Mosul.
"This conviction does not meet Christian values." We are not satisfied with this decision because the church is against the death penalty." Archbishop Sako said the death sentence against a suspect "will also not help improve the situation" in Iraq which is plagued by sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites in addition to attacks against religious minorities.
He said the church had no details about the trial or the accused nor was it aware of the motives of the killers. It learnt about the sentencing from television.
"The announcement of the government gave very little detail. We do not know any of those responsible. We don't know why the archbishop was kidnapped, whether it was due to political, religious or criminal intentions," he said. (Sources: Agence France Presse, 20/05/2008)