News and Information

Hostage Bigley murdered in Iraq
October 8, 2004
British hostage Kenneth Bigley has been murdered by his captors in Iraq, his family has confirmed.
A video released by militants showed Mr Bigley making a statement before being killed, according to witnesses.

"We can confirm that the family has now received absolute proof that Ken Bigley was executed by his captors," his brother Philip said.

Mr Bigley, 62, of Liverpool, was taken hostage on 16 September by the Tawhid and Jihad group.

It beheaded two Americans captured at the same time.

Philip Bigley said the family had experienced "three long weeks of waiting and three long weeks of agony".

It could be that the fate of Ken was sealed from day one

Philip Bigley

Watch the interview

He said family members would each deal with the crisis differently but Mr Bigley's Liverpool-based family believed the government did everything possible to secure his release "in this impossible situation."

"It could be that the fate of Ken was sealed from day one," he said.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said: "Now that this terrible news has been confirmed I want to offer the family and friends of Kenneth Bigley my deepest condolences.

"This is a barbaric murder following three weeks of terrible suffering for his family."

Ken Bigley was murdered on Thursday in Latifiya, a Sunni Muslim town south-west of Baghdad, according to reports.

US forces have stepped up operations in Falluja in recent weeks, in a bid to regain control there ahead of planned national elections in Iraq in January.

Mr Bigley's relatives gathered at their family home in Liverpool as news of his death broke.

His son Craig, mother Lil and brothers Philip and Paul had campaigned for his release.

Paul Bigley had been due to take part in a Stop the War Coalition rally at Liverpool University on Friday evening, via a video link from his Amsterdam home.

'Blood on his hands'

Spokeswoman Carmel Byrne said a message from him would be read out instead.

She said it read: "Please, please stop this war and prevent other lives being lost. It is illegal and has to stop. Mr Blair has blood on his hands."

Brothers Stan (front) and Philip Bigley gathered with family
Mr Bigley was last seen alive in a video broadcast last week, pleading for Prime Minister Tony Blair to help him.

Mr Bigley's Thai-born wife Sombat, had made several emotional appeals for mercy.

The engineer was captured just weeks before his official retirement when he would have joined her in Thailand.

Mr Bigley's Irish-born mother Lil, 86, has been treated in hospital several times.

A nurse was seen entering her Liverpool home this afternoon as members of his family awaited further news.

Three police officers were outside the family home, with a mass of press photographers lined up directly across the street from the family's Victorian mid-terrace home.


    Support Caprivi Freedom
Fill out the form below to become a member of this site and receive our regular newsletter.

First Name
Last Name