In London, Anis Abid Sardar, British taxi driver was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 38 years for his involvement in a bomb-making organization.
NBC News’ British partner ITV News stated that Sardar, 38, was convicted of two counts of murder and conspiracy to murder, after his fingerprints were found on two bombs which linked him to another device that killed Sgt. Randy Johnson.
Sardar made a claim that he was only involved in the making of the bombs to protect the Sunni Muslim community from Shiite militants. The judge, Mr. Justice Globe, disregarded the claim.
According to ITV News, the judge said, “Your focus was either wholly or partly American, you had a mindset that made Americans every bit the enemy as Shia militias.”
ITV News reported that this is the first time anyone has been convicted for murder during the Iraq War in a British Court.
On September 27, 2007, Sgt. Randy Johnson, 34, of 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, was in an armored vehicle when he was killed by Sardar’s IED in Baghdad.
Two U.S. Soldiers, Jesus Bustamante and Joseph Bacani were shot trying to recover another bomb associated to Sarder, in March, 2007. Bacani had to learn to walk again from a shot that struck his pelvis. He told ITV News that he felt “relieved” by conviction of Sardar.
According to NBC News, he said, “I think it brings a sense of justice but it’s not an equivalent thing, it doesn’t bring back a life but it does help us recuperate.”
One of the soldiers who attempted to save Johnson’s life, Luke Stinson, stated he was hoping for a hardened punishment.
Before the announcement of the sentencing, he told NBC News, “I hope they nail his ass to the wall and burn the wall down. I wish they had the death penalty over there, because this guy deserves it.”
Claudia Williams, Johnson’s widow, told NBC News, “I’m really relieved but for us it doesn’t change anything. We still lost Randy.”
On September 27, 2007 Johnson left behind his father, Randy L. Johnson Sr., eight brothers, two sisters and host of family and friends.
Hopefully his family and friends can have a sigh of relief this memorial day, knowing that justice has finally been served.