Irish cameraman's killer sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia

Irish cameraman's killer sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia

A man who shot and killed Irish cameraman Simon Cumbers in Saudi Arabia 10 years ago has been sentenced to death.

Co Meath native Cumbers was working for the BBC when he was killed. Cumbers' colleague, security correspondent, Frank Gardner, was also paralysed in the attack.

So far three men have been given the death sentence  for terror offences, while five other defendants were each sentenced to lengthy  jail terms at the special criminal court in Riyadh.

In June 2004, at the age of 36, Cumbers was murdered by terrorist gunmen while filming a report for BBC Television News in Saudi Arabia.

The attackers opened fire on Simon and his colleague – BBC correspondent Frank Gardner – in a suburb of Riyadh.  Cumbers,  who previously worked for ITN and Channel 4, died at the scene and Frank Gardner was seriously injured.

In a family statement, Simon Cumbers' father told RTE: "I have mixed feelings about the sentencing.

"On the one hand, I am pleased that the murderer has had his fate decided and that the long wait is over.

"It won't bring Simon back, but it puts an end to the waiting."

"On the other hand, both Bronagh and I sympathise with Dubayti's [the sentenced man] parents, who must now suffer that tremendous loss that we feel."

After his death, Cumbers' family and Irish Aid  established the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to assist and promote more and better quality media coverage of development issues in the Irish media.