Libyan Who Fought Against Gaddafi Denies Murder of Three Men in UK Park Was ‘Religious Jihad’


In June 2020 three men were stabbed to death on a sunny summer’s day in Reading, a town 50 miles west of London. The attacker, Khairi Saadallah, has admitted murdering the men but a hearing is under way to determine what sentence he should receive.

A Libyan national who stabbed three men to death in a park in England last summer had taken part in the country’s civil war but was granted refugee status in 2018, a court has been told.

Khairi Saadallah, 26, stabbed to death three totally innocent men – US citizen Joseph Ritchie-Bennett, 39, history teacher James Furlong, 36, and scientist David Wails, 49, as they sunbathed in Forbury Gardens in the centre of Reading one day in June 2020.

​Saadallah has admitted murder but on Tuesday, 5 January, a Newton hearing began at the Old Bailey in London.

Alison Morgan QC, prosecuting, told the court Saadallah was motivated by a belief in a “religious jihad” and had intended to “kill as many people as he could” in the name of that Islamist cause.

​Saadallah has admitted three counts of murder and one of attempted murder but denies the killings were motivated by any religious or ideological cause.

He will be sentenced at the end of the hearing, on 11 January, by Mr Justice Sweeney.

​The court heard Saadallah arrived in Britain in 2012 and was originally refused asylum after it emerged he had been involved in militias fighting against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi during the Arab…

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