Former Iraq hostages to issue statement as alleged captors face death penalty
5 December 2006 (NZ release)
Former Iraq hostages, James Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden, will arrive in the UK this week to be reunited with fellow captive Norman Kember, and issue a statement concerning their alleged captors who may face the death penalty.
This will be the first time the former hostages have met together since they were released in March.
The three members of a Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) delegation to Iraq, were kidnapped on November 26, 2005 and held for 118 days before being freed by British and American forces on March 23, 2006.
Tom Fox, an American citizen and full-time member of the CPT team working in Baghdad at the time, was also kidnapped and then murdered on March 9, 2006.
The meeting of the three surviving hostages has been organised following the news that their alleged captors are to face trial in Iraq in the new year.
The three are to issue a joint statement, which will come exactly a year after their captors threatened to kill them unless their demands were met.
Their alleged captors are facing trial in the Central Criminal Court of Iraq and the former hostages have been asked to testify at the trial.
Kidnapping is a capital offence in Iraq and it is understood that those facing trial could face the death penalty.
The three are to hold a press conference St St Ethelberga's in London on Friday morning at which they will issue a joint statement at which they will address questions about whether they will testify at the trial.
St Ethelburga's was devastated by a massive IRA bomb on April 24 1993. It was later rebuilt to serve as a Centre for Reconciliation and Peace.
The press conference will take place at St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation in the City of London, UK, at 10.30am GMT on Friday 8th December. Requests for interviews with the three former hostages during their visit should be made via Jonathan Bartley email. The statement will be available on this web page at 11.30pm (NZ time) on Friday, 8 December.