Suitcase slaying suspect arrested

Authorities in the Persian Gulf country of Bahrain have arrested a fugitive suspected of killing a Canadian singer whose body was found stuffed inside a suitcase at London's Heathrow Airport in 1999.
Fatima Kama of Montreal was found dead at London's Heathrow Airport in 1999, her body stuffed inside a suitcase. ((CBC))

The fugitive suspected of killing a Canadian singer in 1999 and stuffing her body inside a suitcase at London's Heathrow Airport has been arrested in the Persian Gulf country of Bahrain.

Youssef Ahmed Wahid was arrested by Bahrain officials on Tuesday in a planned operation, British police said. 

His extradition to the U.K. is pending.

The body of 28-year-old Fatima Kama, who was born in Morocco but emigrated with her family to Montreal, was found in the fetal position in a black suitcase abandoned on the third floor of a Heathrow Airport parking lot on July 17, 1999.


Find out more details about the case in this timeline by the CBC's Fifth Estate.

A post-mortem revealed she had been stabbed more than 10 times.

Kama's father, who was notified of the arrest by a reporter, said he hopes the person who killed his daughter gets life in prison. 

"She was an innocent girl … and [was] killed for no good reason," Bouchaib Kama told CBC News when reached in Casablanca.

Arrested after body discovered

Wahid, a former Kuwaiti Airlines steward, was arrested within days of the discovery of Kama's body in his hometown of Ramadiyeh, in southern Lebanon.

He reportedly denied any involvement in the killing and was released. When authorities later moved to arrest and question him again, he could not be found.

A warrant was issued for his arrest, and a Lebanese court convicted him in connection with Kama's death in absentia. He was sentenced to death.

Wahid's brother, Abdel Ahmed, was also arrested in connection with the case, but British prosecutors eventually dropped the charges, citing insufficient evidence.

Kama, a frequent visitor to the U.K., had rented an apartment in west London from Ahmed, where Wahid also lived. She was dating a wealthy man from Dubai and planned to fly home to her family in Montreal the day after she was slain.

She had told her mother before she was killed that she had about $50,000 to $80,000 in money and jewelry that she earned from working as a singer at weddings and other events.

Police have said that the motive for the slaying might have been the money and jewelry, which has never been recovered.

With files from The Associated Press