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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 November 2006, 22:44 GMT
Kember court testimony 'unlikely'
Norman Kember
Mr Kember was held hostage for nearly four months
Former British hostage Norman Kember has said he is unlikely to testify at any trial over his kidnapping in Iraq.

The Christian peace activist was seized last November in Baghdad with four other men and held for 117 days.

Mr Kember told Channel 4 News he had been informed there had been arrests but said he faced a "moral dilemma" as he was against the death penalty.

The 74-year-old, who was opposed to the US-led action in Iraq, said he "can understand" what motivated the gang.

According to Channel 4 News, Mr Kember's suspected captors have been arrested but not charged.

Video-link

Mr Kember, from Pinner in north-west London, and two Canadian fellow activists from Christian Peacemaker Teams - James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32 - were freed by multinational forces in March.

The men's US colleague, Tom Fox, was killed by their captors, a group calling itself the Swords of Righteousness Brigade, who had been demanding all Iraqi prisoners be freed.

Mr Kember told Channel 4 News he had been informed by Scotland Yard a trial may take place in early 2007 at which he may have to give evidence - possibly by video-link.

Some of them had reasons for regarding us as their enemies.
Norman Kember

But he told the programme he felt "forgiveness is the most positive thing that we can do in this situation".

Mr Kember said: "I don't wish them any ill. I think that some of them had reasons for regarding us as their enemies."

He added he would rather his captors went free than face a long prison term. But he said the men should be made aware that their actions would not help the future of Iraq.

Mr Kember said: "Unless I could be persuaded that by giving a testimony, and asking for clemency, and that that would help, then I wouldn't be prepared to testify.

"Some of them had reasons for regarding us as their enemies because they saw us as part of the allied force.

"Because some had lost relatives, one had lost his home and so on.

"So I don't think it justified, what they did, but I can understand it."




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