November 1, 2019 / 1:41 PM / 17 days ago

Lebanon Uber driver gets death sentence for murder of British woman

BEIRUT (Reuters) - A Lebanese court sentenced an Uber driver to death on Friday for the murder of British embassy worker Rebecca Dykes in December 2017, state news agency NNA said.

The driver, Tariq Houshieh, confessed to raping and strangling 30-year-old Dykes, who worked at the embassy in Lebanon for Britain’s Department for International Development.

The British embassy said it hoped the court’s decision would “provide a degree of closure” for those close to Dykes. “Becky was much loved and is deeply missed,” it said in a statement.

Lebanese judges routinely call for death sentences in cases of murder. But the country has an unofficial moratorium and has not carried out an execution since 2004, according to the monitoring group Human Rights Watch.

“While we welcome the guilty verdict, the UK government continues to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances,” the embassy statement said.

The verdict was handed down by the Mount Lebanon criminal court, the district north of Beirut where the crime occurred, NNA reported.

A lawyer appointed to represent Houshieh said they would submit an appeal.

Reporting by Eric Knecht and Issam Abdallah; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Giles Elgood

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