Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: Former hostage Waite says ‘the past is the past’ on Lebanon return

10:45 09 December 2012

Terry Waite

Terry Waite

TERRY Waite, who was kidnapped and tortured 25 years ago by associates of the militant group Hezbollah, has returned to Lebanon to meet representatives of the organisation responsible for his capture.

shares

The 73-year-old from Suffolk returned to Beirut last week to reconcile with his captors and to lay to rest the ghosts of the past.

Meeting Ammar Moussawi, a senior figure within Hezbollah, he told him: “My first reason for the visit is to say the past is the past. Let us leave it.”

Mr Waite also highlighted the plight of Syrians fleeing civil war in their homeland and asked for Hezbollah’s help in the run-up to Christmas, he told a national newspaper.

Mr Waite travelled to Lebanon in 1987 as an envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury to try to secure the release of British hostage John McCarthy and other Western captives.

But he was accused of being a CIA agent and kidnapped.

For the first year of his captivity, Mr Waite was subjected to beatings and a mock execution. He was kept mainly in solitary confinement, chained to a radiator for 23 hours a day.

He was released at the end of 1991 and now says Hezbollah is a party of “stature”, and that the west’s view of the group is “very negative”.

Mr Waite told Mr Moussawi, the organisation’s most senior foreign affairs official, that Hezbollah was seen “quite wrongly” as a terrorist organisation.

He then asked for the group to help refugees fleeing from Syria, saying: “It is my view that Hezbollah can do itself a great deal of good at Christmas, the Christian festival, by perhaps doing something to give some support to the refugees who are in this country.

“When it does, the message will carry beyond the border of Lebanon.”

During the meeting, Mr Moussawi denied Hezbollah were responsible for his kidnapping and said Mr Waite would be welcome back “any time”.

shares

0 comments

Police enquiries are ongoing

A woman arrested in connection with suspected drug overdoses in Bury St Edmunds, has been bailed.

The suspect knocked on a door in Almond Way sometime between 3.30pm and 3.45pm on Saturday last week (May 16) and threatened the 51-year-old occupant with a knife.

Police investigating an aggravated burglary in Colchester are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Susan Beckerman.

A 57-year-old woman reported missing from Felixstowe has been found, police have said.

Jeff Spicer

A 53-year-old man from Lowestoft reported missing to police has been found in Leiston, police have said.

Composer Jocelyn Pook who was raised and educated in Bury St Edmunds.

I probably wouldn’t have seen the Jocelyn Pook Ensemble had it not been for the suggestion of my film buff cousin Tom.

Artists' impression of the view from the new development towards the cathedral.

Traffic has been raised as a key issue by people who attended a public exhibition on the vision for a 1,250-home development in south-east Bury St Edmunds.

Former headteacher of the Oakwood School Eric De Smith arrives at Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing

Showing no contrition or acceptance of guilt former Stowmarket headteacher Eric De Smith was jailed for seven years for sexually abusing four boys.

The scene earlier when travellers parked up at a supermarket in Woodbridge.

A group of travellers which moved in to a supermarket car park in Woodbridge has left, police have said.

BBC Springwatch presenters Martin Hughes-Games, Chris Packham and  Michaela Strachan launch the new series at Minsmere Nature Reserve.

The BBC’s new Suffolk-based Springwatch series was launched yesterday with an impassioned call from Chris Packham for the popular TV wildlife programme to be a springboard that switches viewers on to the urgent need to reverse nature’s dramatic declines.

Thousands do not use the internet

As more and more vital services move online, figures have revealed more than 15% of Suffolk residents have either never used the internet, or not logged on in the past three months.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages