A Lebanese court on Friday sentenced an Uber driver to death for the murder of a British embassy worker in Beirut nearly two years, the country’s National News Agency reported.
It wasn’t immediately clear what crime Tarek Houshi was convicted of in connection to Rebecca Dykes’s death. The sentence can be appealed.
Dykes worked at the UK Embassy with the Department for International Development. She had been strangled with a rope and was suspected of being sexually assaulted in December 2017.
Houshi, who authorities said at the time had a criminal record, was arrested two days later.
The UK Embassy in Beirut said it hoped the ruling “will provide a degree of closure” and thanked Lebanese authorities for their work in the case.
“While we welcome the guilty verdict, the UK government continues to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances,” it said in a statement.
The embassy described Dykes as a “true of friend of Lebanon” who was “hugely popular member” of the diplomatic mission.
“Her energy, smile, determination, kindness, and positivity are fondly remembered by all,” it said.
*STATEMENT*British Embassy Beirut statement:Rebecca (“Becky”) Dykes was a talented, devoted humanitarian, whose…
Shortly after his arrest, Houshi confessed to killing Dykes after trying to rape her.
Dykes was last seen leaving a bar in Gemmayzeh, a Beirut neighborhood popular with foreign residents.
Such crime is rare in Beirut, a city which is considered generally safe, including for tourists and foreign residents.
Uber’s driver identification and rating system is seen by many, especially women, as offering better safety guarantees than when hailing a cab off the street in Lebanon.