Le­banon ar­rests two for killing Bri­tish ra­dio host

The Gulf Today - - MIDDLE EAST -

BEIRUT: Le­banon has ar­rested two peo­ple sus­pected of hav­ing mur­dered Bri­tish ra­dio pre­sen­ter Gavin Ford who hosted one of Le­banon’s most pop­u­lar shows, se­cu­rity forces said on Thurs­day.

The 53-year-old’s life­less body was dis­cov­ered on Tues­day at his home in Beit Meri, a moun­tain town east of Beirut where his em­ployer Ra­dio One is also based.

Two Syr­i­ans, born in 1991 and 1995, have been ar­rested in con­nec­tion to his death, the se­cu­rity forces said in a state­ment, with­out spec­i­fy­ing when they were de­tained.

“They ad­mit­ted to com­mit­ting mur­der and said they went on Mon­day af­ter­noon to the home of the vic­tim to steal,” the state­ment said.

They con­fessed they “stran­gled him and hit him on the head with a sharp ob­ject un­til he lost con­scious­ness, and then left in his car”, it added.

Se­cu­rity forces found some of the looted items, as well as “the vic­tim’s mo­bile phone and car keys”, at the home of the sus­pects in the north­ern Beirut suburb of Al-nabaa.

A se­cu­rity source told AFP ear­lier that Ford’s pri­vate safe was found empty, and his mo­bile phone had gone miss­ing.

Af­ter he was found dead, trib­utes started pour­ing in on so­cial me­dia for Ford, who had been one of Le­banon’s most loved ra­dio hosts for years.

They in­cluded Bri­tain’s am­bas­sador to Le­banon Chris Ram­pling, who said he was “shocked and deeply sad­dened” by the news.

Ford’s death comes af­ter Bri­tish em­bassy em­ployee Re­becca Dykes was mur­dered in De­cem­ber last year by a taxi driver who tried to rape her.

Such crime is rare in Beirut, a city largely con­sid­ered safe, in­clud­ing for tourists and for­eign res­i­dents.

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