Iraqi court sentences man to death for beheading Japanese backpacker
Wednesday, November 22, 2006 at 21:12 EST
BAGHDAD — The Iraqi central criminal court on Wednesday sentenced a man to death for killing Japanese backpacker Shosei Koda in October 2004. Hussein Fahmi, a 26-year-old member of a militant group formerly led by the now deceased Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was indicted for his involvement in the murder of 24-year-old Koda.
In trying to justify his act, Fahmi told Kyodo News after his arrest that he had to kill people from those countries that had sent troops to Iraq. Koda entered Baghdad from Jordan via bus on Oct 21, 2004, and five days later the militant group posted footage of Koda on the Internet, demanding that the Japanese Self-Defense Forces retreat from Iraq. Koda was found beheaded in Baghdad on Oct 30 and his murder footage was posted on the Internet on Nov 2 along with the group's claim of responsibility.