Thursday 22 March 2018

Terrorist who killed Irish cameraman Simon Cumbers executed by Saudi Arabia

Adel al-Dhubaiti is executed more than a decade after the attack on Cumbers and BBC security corr Frank Gardner

Adel Al-Dubayti was one of 47 people killed in the country’s largest mass execution in decades
Adel Al-Dubayti was one of 47 people killed in the country’s largest mass execution in decades

Robert Mendick and Newdesk

THE convicted terrorist behind the assassination of an Irish cameraman was executed by Saudi Arabia yesterday.

Adel al-Dhubaiti was one of 47 people killed in the country’s largest mass execution in decades.

Dhubaiti was sentenced to death in November 2014 for the attack on Simon Cumbers, who was murdered in an ambush in June 2004 during filming of a report about al-Qaeda in a town close to the capital Riyadh. His colleague, the BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner, was shot six times and left paralysed

Originally from Navan, Co Meath, Mr Cumbers was an experienced journalist, whose career took him from newspaper and radio reporting in Ireland to reporting and producing for ITN and Channel 4 Daily – amongst others – in the UK.

He also ran his own newsgathering and production company, Locum Productions, with his wife, Louise Bevan.

Read more: Iran's leader warns Saudi Arabia of 'divine revenge' after cleric execution

Simon Cumbers was killed in the attack
Simon Cumbers was killed in the attack
Simon Cumbers

Gardner, 54, who courageously fought back from the crippling injuries to resume his broadcasting career, declined to comment. He has previously said he could never forgive Dhubaiti.

“He [Dhubaiti] is completely unrepentant. He has never said sorry. He is still in the mindset that he had when he attacked us. So forgiveness is not really an option,” Gardner told The Telegraph in an interview in November 2014 following Dhubaiti’s conviction.

“It’s not like this man’s parents have written to me or anyone saying, ‘Please forgive him’. No one has apologised.”

Gardner had been offered the opportunity to meet his assailant but had declined. “I don’t want to see this guy. Why would I? What am I going to get from it? The man’s soul is dead,” he said.

He even expressed his anger that Dhubaiti appeared to be well looked after in his Saudi prison. While awaiting the death penalty, finally delivered yesterday.

“I gather he’s put on weight in jail – he has been eating quite well,” he said.

The family of Simon Cumbers, who had died at the age of 36, had previously expressed “mixed feelings”, uneasy at the death penalty. His father Robert said in a statement in 2014: “On the one hand, I am pleased that the murderer has had his fate decided and that the long wait is over.

Read more: Saudis put cleric to sword

“It won’t bring Simon back, but it puts an end to the waiting.

“On the other hand, both Bronagh and I sympathise with Dhubaiti’s parents, who must now suffer that tremendous loss that we feel.”

His mother Bronagh Cumbers had said in an interview: “I don’t want to see anybody dying.”

In 2005, a little over a year after his death and in close consultation with Louise Bevan and the extended Cumbers family, Irish Aid established the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to honour his memory. The aim of the Fund is "to assist and promote more and better quality media coverage of development issues in the Irish media".

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