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Malian Man Gets 25 Years for Diplomat’s Death

BROOKLYN (CN) — A Malian national was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Tuesday for fatally carjacking a U.S. diplomat in Niger in 2000.

Alhassane Ould Mohamed, also known as Cheibani, got his sentence from U.S. District Judge William Kuntz II in Brooklyn Federal Court after standing trial for fatally carjacking an embassy worker in Naimey, Niger. He was charged with conspiring to murder a U.S. diplomat.

Mohamed, 46, and another man came at William Bultemeier with a pistol and an AK-47 while he and a colleague tried to enter his state-issued, white SUV after dining at a restaurant on Dec. 23, 2000, according to prosecutors.

The gunmen reportedly demanded his keys and then shot him. They then sped off in the SUV, prosecutors say.

Staff Sgt. Christopher McNeely, the Marine detachment commander for the U.S. Embassy in Niger at the time, was the other victim. He survived the shooting, but Bultemeier did not.

"The defendant and his confederate murdered U.S. diplomat William Bultemeier in cold blood and seriously injured" McNeely, "who bravely risked his life to attempt to save his colleague," Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said in a statement.

Capers added, "Although nothing can undo the pain caused by the defendant's violent actions, we hope the victims' families can take some measure of solace in knowing that the defendant is being held accountable for the senseless murder."

Mohamed evaded authorities for at least 16 years, FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Diego Rodriguez said. He pleaded guilty last month.

Rodriguez expressed sympathy to the families of the victims.

"U.S. employees working overseas understand there are certain risks in representing their government in foreign territories; however, a death sentence should not be one of them," he said.

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