KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) -- The chief investigator in the slaying of an American diplomat in Sudan testified Thursday that the five suspects on trial also planned to kill a British diplomat in the East African country.Sudanese Islamists accused of killing a U.S. diplomat and his driver sit on a bench at their trial on August 31.
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Police Gen. Abdul Rahim Ahmed Abdullah told a court in the capital that the five plotted to kill a British diplomat in revenge for a British schoolteacher's decision to let her young students name a toy bear Mohammad, the same name as Islam's founder.
But on the day they were to execute their plot, the British diplomat escaped unharmed when he disappeared into a crowd, the police investigator said. He did not identify the diplomat.
The five suspects are charged in the killing of American diplomat John Granville, 33, and his Sudanese driver in the early hours of New Year's Day on the streets of the capital, Khartoum.
The brazen shooting was the first time an American was killed in Sudan since 1973.
In a previous court hearing, the prosecution said the five acted out of religious zeal and that they were looking for any Western target during New Year's celebrations.
Granville was being driven home at about 4 a.m. when another vehicle cut off his car and its occupants opened fire before fleeing. His driver was immediately killed. Granville, who was hit by five bullets, died of his wounds after surgery.
In his testimony Thursday, the chief investigator said the defendants had studied the housing areas of Americans in Sudan. The accused include former Sudanese army officer Muhanad Osman Yusuf, 29, who was in active service at the time of Granville's slaying. He was dismissed after he was implicated in the case.
The five suspects say they were coerced to confess to the American's killing.
The trial continues September 21.
Abdullah, the chief investigator, also testified that the defendants had initially planned to go to Somalia to wage jihad, or holy war, and received 5,000 Saudi riyals, or $9,300, from a Saudi fundraiser to do so. But they decided to stay and "work in Sudan."
Last year, British schoolteacher Gillian Gibbons was sentenced to 15 days in jail and deportation for insulting Islam for allowing her pupils to call a teddy bear Muhammad -- an act clerics considered insulting to the Prophet Muhammad. She was later pardoned and allowed to return home to Britain.