21 February 2020 :
A judge in Lebanon’s highest court on 20 February 2020 overturned the death sentence of Tarek Houshieh, who was convicted of raping and murdering British embassy employee Rebecca Dykes in December 2017.
No reason was given for the decision to overturn the ruling, which was made by Judge Jamal Al-Hajjar, but a hearing has been set for 5 March.
Dykes was strangled to death on 16 December 2017 after leaving female friends on a night out in the Beirut district of Gemmayze.
The embassy worker was found the following morning on the side of the Metn highway, with a rope around her neck, bearing signs of strangulation.
Houshieh, a 41-year-old local uber driver, was arrested in the early hours of 18 December, and quickly confessed to the crime, providing authorities with details of Dyke’s assault and murder.
In his confession, Houshieh allegedly claimed that, after entering his car, Dykes “was passing in and out of consciousness due to being drunk”.
The killer, who had a criminal record, had faked his driving licence and other documents so that he could work as a taxi driver in Beirut. He had previously served prison time for drug offences and assault convictions.
The former Uber driver was sentenced to death by a Mount Lebanon criminal court on 1 November 2019.