Syrian court sentences three men to death for murdering diplomat
A court in Damascus has sentenced three men to death after finding them guilty of murdering a "senior diplomat" from an unidentified country's embassy, a Syrian newspaper reported Tuesday.
The diplomat met one of the men, a 26-year-old identified only as Amjad, at a bathhouse in Damascus and agreed to pay him for sex, Syria's official al-Thawra daily reported Tuesday.
The court found that the two met several times at the diplomat's flat before Amjad plotted to rob the man with the help of two friends, reported dpa.
According to al-Thawra, the court found that the three tried to extort money from their victim, that they beat and gagged him when he refused to pay and tried to call for help. He died of asphyxiation, reported the paper.
The three men reportedly confessed to killing the man, but said they had done so accidentally.
Syrian police investigating the incident said they had expanded the investigation and located four other men who police said had previously accepted money for having sex with the murdered diplomat.
Medical tests "proved" the four had had sex with other men, police said, and the court sentenced the four to six months in prison for "engaging in homosexual acts."
Under Article 520 of the Syrian Penal Code, committing a homosexual act is punishable with up to three years in prison.