ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council announced on Sunday that two males and one female recently charged with the Jan. 9 murder of a media worker in Baghdad had confessed to the crime.
At the time, local media reports quoted sources as saying that "armed individuals" killed an assistant cameraman named Samer Ali who worked for Alhurra-Iraq, a US-supported satellite news channel headquartered in central Baghdad.
On Jan. 25, the Interior Ministry announced the arrests of the three persons without giving further details, such as the suspects' identities or possible motives for the killing.
The accused "make up a gang for stealing and robbing," the Supreme Judicial Council said in a statement, citing their purported confessions.
On the day of the killing, sources told Kurdistan 24 that Ali had sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the head and that police had opened an investigation into the incident and had taken his body to a forensic facility. Other sources specified that the attackers had, after shooting him, taken his money and car.
The authorities found the car in Kirkuk, where "the accused were trying to enter into the Kurdistan Region for the purpose of selling it there," continued the statement, which also claimed that "the reason for the killing was to steal his vehicle."
Sixteen years on from the fall of the former Iraqi regime in 2003, the country remains a dangerous place for journalists and other media workers, with rights organizations reporting that, so far, 455 have been killed.
Editing by John J. Catherine