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07 Jan 2013
Journalist Casualties: 0
Media Staff Casualties: 0
Under Investigation: 0
A court in Arbil has adjourned again the trial of a suspect in the murder of an Iraqi Kurdish journalist killed in 2010, website of privately-owned NRT TV reported on 7 January.
The website's reporter said that journalists were not allowed to enter the Arbil courtroom on 7 January.
Twenty-three-year-old journalist and university student Sardasht Uthman was kidnapped outside his campus in regional capital Arbil in broad daylight on 4 May 2010. Two days later, his body was found in the neighbouring city of Mosul.
Uthman, a little-known journalist before his death, published articles critical of the ruling Kurdish authorities, especially the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
Bakr Uthman, the victim's brother, said that the family refused an invitation to attend the trial.
Sbay media website of opposition Change Movement's Wisha media corporation said the victim's family described the court case as "deceptive and trying to hide the real killer".
Local and international right groups at the time criticized the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for its handling of the case.
A KRG investigation into the murder in September 2010 said that Uthman had been involved with the radical Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam and that the group had killed Uthman as a punishment for not carrying out a task he had promised to do. Uthman's family dismissed the allegation, with his friends saying he was a secular person.
The suspect in the case is a member of Ansar al-Islam who allegedly had confessed to the crime and admitted that he was ordered by an official of the group to kill Uthman.
The said group dismissed the outcome of the KRG investigation at the time.
Source: BBC Monitoring / Nalia Radio and TV website