The US is worried because Sudan frees a man convicted of murdering a diplomat | Crime news

Abdelraouf Abuzeid was previously convicted in connection with the shooting that killed a USAID employee and his driver.

The United States has expressed “deep concern” over Sudan’s decision to release from prison a man convicted of murdering an American diplomat and a Sudanese colleague.

In a statement released Wednesday, the US State Department condemned the circumstances surrounding the release of Abdelraouf Abuzeid, who was convicted of the 2008 murders of embassy staffer John Granville and his Sudanese driver Abdel Rahman Abbas.

“We are deeply troubled by the lack of transparency in the legal process that resulted in the release of the only person remaining in custody,” Price said, “and the false claim that the release was consented to by the United States Government.”

Granville, a 33-year-old employee of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Rahman Abbas were killed in a series of bullets during an attack in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on New Year’s Day 2008.

Before he was released on Monday, Abuzeid faced the death penalty for his role in the attack. He remains on the US State Department’s “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” list.

Reuters news agency reported that Abuzeid’s family members said he was freed as part of a settlement between the Sudanese government and the victims.

In March 2021, the Sudanese government paid US$335 million to survivors and families of victims killed in attacks linked to the country, including a 2008 shooting.

“We hope this will help them find some resolution to the terrible tragedies that have occurred,” Blinken said in a statement at the time, referring to the American families of the victims. “With this challenging process behind us, the US-Sudan relationship can begin a new chapter.”

The payment was part of an agreement in which the US removed Sudan from Washington’s list of “state sponsors of terrorism”. Sudan was removed from the list in December 2020, a move its government hoped would improve its economic relations abroad.

In a statement from the State Department on Wednesday, the US denied that Abuzeid’s release was “arranged by the United States government as part of a settlement with the Sudanese government.”

“We will continue to seek clarity on this decision,” the statement added.

On Wednesday, Granville’s mother, Jane Granville, said she was “horrified” to learn that one of the men connected to her son’s shooting had been acquitted.

“No way [the 2021 settlement] to say that that money should have freed any of these people who killed John,” she told Reuters. “I would never have accepted that if that was part of it.”

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