Two ad­mit to killing British DJ in Beirut

The National - News - - NEWS - SUNNIVA ROSE Beirut

Two Syr­ian men ad­mit­ted to killing British ra­dio host Gavin Ford this week in his house near Beirut, Le­banese po­lice said on Thurs­day.

Ford’s tied-up body was dis­cov­ered on Tues­day in Broumana, in the hills above the cap­i­tal.

The first fugi­tive, iden­ti­fied only as AA, was ar­rested on Wed­nes­day in Nabaa, a sub­urb east of Beirut. He con­fessed to killing Ford, 53, with an­other Syr­ian na­tional, re­ferred to by his ini­tials HB. The sec­ond man was iden­ti­fied and ar­rested in Jnah, a sub­urb south of the city. He also con­fessed to the mur­der.

Ac­cord­ing to a po­lice state­ment, the men said they went to Ford’s home on Mon­day to steal. They stran­gled the Bri­ton and hit him with a sharp ob­ject un­til he lost con­scious­ness. They then drove away in his car. The men hid some of the stolen goods in Nabaa, where they both lived.

Ford’s phone, car keys and ID pa­pers were found in their apart­ment. The car was dis­cov­ered on Mon­day parked near a pop­u­lar flea mar­ket called Souk Al Ahad.

The po­lice stressed that the killers were not the two men who ap­peared in a video cir­cu­lated by Le­banese me­dia in which Ford ap­pears to be film­ing him­self re­lax­ing in a liv­ing room.

Ford was a pop­u­lar fig­ure in Le­banon, where he had worked for 20 years. The DJ was the voice of Ra­dio One’s Gavin Ford in the Morn­ing show, a com­muter favourite. He had pre­vi­ously worked in Cyprus and stud­ied at the Na­tional Broad­cast­ing School.

A few hours af­ter his death was made pub­lic, a graphic pic­ture of Ford’s body, as well as a sup­posed po­lice re­port, cir­cu­lated on so­cial me­dia.

On Wed­nes­day, the state pros­e­cu­tor or­dered mil­i­tary pros­e­cu­tor Peter Ger­manos to in­ves­ti­gate the leaks and take “strict mea­sures against the per­pe­tra­tors”, the Le­banese na­tional news agency re­ported.

The pho­to­graph shocked some of Ford’s fans, who crit­i­cised its dis­tri­bu­tion.

Some of Ford’s friends who The Na­tional spoke to re­fused to com­ment on the pic­ture, choos­ing in­stead to fo­cus on his achieve­ments in life.

“Thank you for all the laughs over the years. Thank you for bright­en­ing up Le­banon’s pol­i­tics and re­li­gion-in­fested air­waves with your wit and love,” wrote blog­ger Gino Raidy.

Bri­ton Gavin Ford worked in Le­banon for 20 years

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