LONDON – LONDON (AP) — Authorities in Bahrain arrested a suspect Tuesday in the case of a Canadian singer whose body was found stuffed inside a suitcase at London's Heathrow Airport in 1999, according to London's Scotland Yard.
The force said that Youssef Ahmed Wahid was arrested in the Gulf state in what it described as a planned operation and his extradition was pending.
The body of 28-year-old Fatima Kama was found when a member of the public spotted a black suitcase abandoned on the third floor of a Heathrow Airport parking lot July 17, 1999. A security guard forced the bag open to find her in the fetal position. A post-mortem revealed she'd been stabbed more than 10 times.
Wahid, a former Kuwait Airways steward, was arrested within days of the discovery at his hometown of Ramadiyeh in southern Lebanon, and he reportedly denied having anything to do with the killing. But he was eventually released and then went on the run.
Wahid's brother, Abdel Ahmed, was also arrested in connection with the case, but British prosecutors eventually dropped the charges, citing insufficient evidence.
Kama's sister Magda, who lives in Montreal, said that news of the arrest was a painful reminder of what happened. "At the same time it does some good," she said, breaking into tears. "She was a very beautiful woman, generous, helpful."
"We had even given up hope," said Laila Kama, her other sister.
Both Youssef Ahmed Wahid and Kama, a frequent visitor to the U.K., shared an address in west London and police have said that the motive for the slaying may have been the theft of Kama's money and jewelry, which has never been recovered.
The Moroccan-born Kama had been scheduled to fly to her parents' home in Montreal on an Air Canada flight.