Middle East

Death penalty given to killer of outspoken Jordanian author

A Jordanian military judge has sentenced to death a former mosque prayer leader who gunned down an outspoken writer on the steps of a courthouse earlier this year.

The defendant shot and killed Nahed Hattar, 56, in September as the author was about to enter court to face trial for posting a cartoon deemed offensive to Islam on social media. The assailant had been motivated by anger over the cartoon, Jordanian security officials said at the time.

The state news agency Petra, which did not release the assailant's name, said the death penalty was handed down Tuesday.

Two others convicted of helping the assailant obtain a gun were sentenced to prison terms of one year each.