The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) is a local non-profit, non-partisan Lebanese human rights organization in Beirut that was established by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily) in 2006. SOLIDA has been active since 1996 in the struggle against arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and the impunity of those perpetrating gross human violations.

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August 25, 2010

Naharnet - Lebanese Suspect Arrested in Bahrain over 1999 Suitcase Death

Authorities in Bahrain have arrested a Lebanese suspect in the case of a Canadian singer whose body was found stuffed inside a suitcase at London's Heathrow Airport in 1999, according to London's Scotland Yard.

The force said that Youssef Ahmed Wahid was arrested on Tuesday in the Gulf state in what it described as a planned operation and his extradition was pending.

The body of 28-year-old Fatima Kama was found when a member of the public spotted a black suitcase abandoned on the third floor of a Heathrow Airport parking lot July 17, 1999. A security guard forced the bag open to find her in the fetal position. A post-mortem revealed she'd been stabbed more than 10 times.

Kama's father, who was notified of the arrest by a reporter, said he hopes the person who killed his daughter gets life in prison.

"She was an innocent girl … and (was) killed for no good reason," Bouchaib Kama told CBC News when reached in Casablanca.

Wahid, a former Kuwaiti Airlines steward, was arrested within days of the discovery at his hometown of Ramadiyeh in southern Lebanon, and he reportedly denied having any involvement with the killing, and was released. When authorities later moved to arrest and question him again, he could not be found.

A warrant was issued for his arrest and a Lebanese court convicted him in connection with Kama's death in absentia. He was sentenced to death, CBC News said.

Wahid's brother, Abdel Ahmed, was also arrested in connection with the case, but British prosecutors eventually dropped the charges, citing insufficient evidence.

Both Youssef Ahmed Wahid and Kama, a frequent visitor to the U.K., shared an address in west London and police have said that the motive for the slaying may have been the theft of Kama's money and jewelry, which has never been recovered.

CBC News said she had told her mother before she was killed that she had about $50,000 to $80,000 in money and jewelry that she earned from working as a singer at weddings and other events.

The Moroccan-born Kama had been scheduled to fly to her parents' home in Montreal on an Air Canada flight.(AP-Naharnet)

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