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Man sentenced to prison in slaying of US official in Niger

27 April 2016, 08:08

New York — A Malian national who escaped from prison twice after being charged with killing a U.S. Defense Department official and wounding a U.S. Marine during a 2000 carjacking in Niger was sentenced on Tuesday to 25 years in prison.

Alhassane Ould Mohamed of Mali pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklyn to a charge of conspiracy to commit murder for fatally shooting William Bultemeier, a Department of Defense attaché, as Bultemeier left a restaurant in the Niger capital of Niamey on Dec. 22, 2000. He also wounded Marine Staff Sgt. Christopher McNeely, who came to Bultemeier's aid.

Mohamed was arrested in Mali two days after the killing and remained in custody there until he escaped in 2002. In late 2009, he was arrested again in Mali in the killings of four Saudi Arabian nationals in northern Niger. He was sent back to Niger, where he was convicted of the murders and sentenced to 20 years behind bars. But he escaped from prison a second time. He was extradited to the U.S in March 2014.

At the sentencing Tuesday, Bultemeier's youngest daughter, Dannie Bultemeier, told the judge that she had waited more than 15 years for a resolution to her father's murder. She said she remembered picturing her father getting struck by the bullets and thinking about the pain he must have felt.

Wearing a jumpsuit and speaking through an interpreter, Mohamed said "I would like to say I'm sorry."

- AP

Tags us niger

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