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A member of the public holding a copy of one of today's daily newspapers, lights a candle for Dublin-born aid worker, Margaret Hassan in 2004
Margaret Hassan

Hassan killer has been sprung from prison

Iraq officially confirms the killer of Margaret Hassan has escaped from prison.

THE MAN convicted of the murder of aid worker Margaret Hassan in 2004 has officially been confirmed to have escaped from prison.

Iraq’s Deputy Justice Minister said that Ali Lutfi Jassar al-Rawi had escaped his life sentence for murder, stating:

This guy, he escaped from prison… People facilitated his escape, he is gone.

The family of Hassan had raised the alarm months ago about something being wrong after their lawyer noted his alarm at Rawi being absent from all of his appeal hearings.

No group ever claimed responsibility for the kidnap and murder of Hassan, who had campaigned for the rights of Iraqis for decades.

Her body has never been found.

59-year-old Margaret Hassan has been described by her friend, journalist Robert Fisk, as “a proverbial tower of strength”.

Fisk writes in the Independent:

It was Margaret who took leukaemia medicines donated by readers of The Independent to the child cancer victims of Iraq back in 1998 after we discovered that hundreds of infants were dying in those areas where Western forces used depleted uranium munitions in the 1991 Gulf War.

…it was she – and she alone – who managed to persuade Saddam Hussein’s bureaucrats to let us bring the medicine into Iraq.