|[Published: Sunday August 31 2008]
Sudan extremists killed US aidworker, lawyer
Khartoum , 1 Sept-(ANA)- Five Sudanese men accused of murdering a U.S.aid worker are religious extremists who plotted to attack foreigners at NewYear's Eve gatherings, Sudanese prosecutors say.
The five defendantschanted "God is great" as they walked into the East Khartoum courtand were greeted by a crowd of supporters who shouted religious slogans and"Down, down, USA".
All five men worebeards and traditional white gowns, and Reuters reports that two of them spit in thefaces of two Western women journalists before walking into the building withiron shackles on their ankles.
John Granville, a33-year-old officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development, wasshot dead while returning home from New Year celebrations in Khartoum early on Jan. 1. His driver,Abdelrahman Abbas Rahama, 39, was also killed.
Granville was thefirst U.S. governmentofficial to be killed in Khartoumin more than three decades.
Prosecutor Mohamed AlMustapha Moussa told the court the five men last year rented a property inAtbara, a town north of Khartoum,trained there and bought weapons, including a Kalashnikov, a G3 rifle andpistols, according to a copy of the prosecution's opening statement seen byReuters.
Later they moved to ahouse in Omdurman, a Khartoum suburb, where they rented a vehicleand started identifying New Year's Eve celebration venues to attack, theprosecutor said.
On New Year's Eve theydrove out but found the venues either empty or too heavily guarded, said theprosecutor.
"The prosecutorsaid it was then that they decided to drive around and look for victims whowere coming out of New Year's celebrations," Adil Abdel Ghani, one of thefive's defence lawyers, told Reuters after the 30-minute hearing.(ANA)