Libya repatriates bodies of Egyptian Copts killed by Daesh

Libya repatriates bodies of Egyptian Copts killed by Daesh
Libyan Red Crescent workers carry coffins, containing the remains of Egyptian Copts killed by Daesh in Sirte, which were transferred to Egypt after forensic tests were completed in Misrata. (Reuters)
Updated 14 May 2018

Libya repatriates bodies of Egyptian Copts killed by Daesh

Libya repatriates bodies of Egyptian Copts killed by Daesh
  • The remains of 20 Egyptian Coptic Christians executed by Daesh in 2015, near the city of Sirte, were repatriated.
  • After the executions, tens of thousands of Egyptians working in Libya’s construction, service, agriculture and handicraft sectors fled the country.

MISRATA: Libya on Monday repatriated the remains of 20 Egyptian Coptic Christians executed by Daesh in 2015 near the city of Sirte, their former bastion in the country.
The coffins were loaded at Misrata airport onto a Libyan Afriqiyah Airways cargo plane bound for Cairo.
The bodies of the 20 Egyptian men and another man whom a medical examiner believes to be from sub-Saharan Africa were found in October near Sirte.
The doctor, Othman Al-Zentani, said identifying the bodies was “not an easy task,” as they had decomposed and the heads had been separated from the torsos.
DNA samples sent by families of the victims were vital to the identification process, Al-Zentani said.
On February 15, 2015, Daesh broadcast a video showing the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians abducted in January that year in western Libya.
After the executions, tens of thousands of Egyptians working in Libya’s construction, service, agriculture and handicraft sectors fled the country.
Libya has been gripped by chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, with rival administrations and multiple militias vying for control of the oil-rich country.
A UN-backed unity government based in the capital Tripoli has struggled to assert its authority outside the west, and military strongman Khalifa Haftar controls much of the east.
Daesh remains active in central and southern Libya despite being forced out of their northern bastion Sirte, Qaddafi’s hometown, in December 2016.


Istanbul court resumes trial of Turks in Ghosn escape case

Istanbul court resumes trial of Turks in Ghosn escape case
Updated 20 January 2021

Istanbul court resumes trial of Turks in Ghosn escape case

Istanbul court resumes trial of Turks in Ghosn escape case
  • Trial is trying to piece together the details of how former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn fled Japan in December 2019

ISTANBUL: An Istanbul court on Wednesday resumed the trial of seven Turkish suspects accused of helping smuggle former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn “in a large musical instrument case” from Japan to Lebanon.
The trial is trying to piece together the details of how Ghosn — a French-Lebanese-Brazilian national who was a global business superstar when his career came crashing to an end — fled Japan in December 2019 while out on bail facing financial misconduct charges.
The 66-year-old fugitive was arrested in November 2018 and spent 130 days in prison before completing an audacious escape act that humiliated Japanese justice officials and raised questions about who was involved.
The hearing concerns an employee with Turkey’s MNG Jet private airline who allegedly used four pilots and two flight attendants to move Ghosn from Japan to Lebanon via Istanbul.
The pilots and the MNG Jet employee are accused of “illegally smuggling a migrant” and face up to eight years in jail. A hearing in July released them on bail but barred them from leaving Turkey.
The two flight attendants are accused of failing to report a crime and face one-year sentences.
All seven suspects deny the charges.
The indictment says the escape plan from Japan to Lebanon involved a stopover in Istanbul instead of a direct flight “so as not to arouse suspicions.”
Former US Green Beret member Michael Taylor and his son Peter are accused together with Lebanese national George-Antoine Zayek of recruiting MNG Jet and overseeing the secret operation.
The Taylors are currently fighting extradition from the United States to Japan and the whereabouts of Zayek are unclear.
The indictment says Taylor and Zayek put Ghosn “in a large musical instrument case” and then took him through security at Japan’s Osaka airport.
They allegedly opened “70 holes at the bottom of the case for him to breathe easily.”
The indictment says the plane landed at Istanbul’s old Ataturk airport and parked near another plane bound for Beirut.
MNG Jet employee Okan Kosemen then allegedly jumped off the Osaka plane and boarded the one destined for Beirut together with Ghosn.
The indictment says Kosemen received several payments into his bank account totalling 216,800 euros and 66,990 dollars in the months before Ghosn’s flight.
He is also accused of being paid an unidentified amount after Ghosn’s arrival in Beirut.
Kosemen has denied being paid to help Ghosn escape while the pilots and flight attendants say they were unaware he was on board any of the plane’s flights.
MNG filed a complaint last year alleging its aircraft was used illegally.
It added at the time that one its employees had admitted to falsifying the flight manifest to keep Ghosn off the passenger list.