February 7, 2023 (KHARTOUM) – Abdel-Ra’uf Abuzaid who was convicted of killing John Granville USAID worker in early 2008 has apologized to his family, stressing that he disengaged from terrorism and rejects violence.
Abuzaid’s release on January 30 angered the U.S. administration which called on the Sudanese authorities to reverse their decision and re-arrest him.
In an interview with the Saudi-funded Alarabia TV, Abuzaid apologized to Granville’s mother for his participation in the murder of her son.
“Judicially, I was not convicted of the murder, but I was present at the scene of the incident, and I regret very much what happened and I do regret it,” he said.
Also, he said he changed his beliefs and militant ideology and rejects violence as a way to resolve conflict.
“I find myself completely different and have relinquished a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings of Isla,” he said.
Besides the strongly worded statement by the State Department spokesman on Thursday called to re-arrest him, US ambassador in Khartoum has requested further explanations about the release of Abuzaid. In addition, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary Peter Lord will be in Khartoum next week to demand Sudanese authorities take action.
But Abuzaid’s lawyer said that the decision of the Supreme Court to release his client was “final” and was issued by the country’s highest judicial authority, the Supreme Court, by a majority of three judges to two.
He added his release was based on an interpretation of the agreement between the Sudanese government and the United States on the payment of $2.5 million to the Granville family.
“The court considered the family’s acceptance of compensation as a waiver of retribution and therefore overturned the death sentence and considered the period he spent in prison is sufficient for the public interest,” said the lawyer Adel Abdel Ghani.