A Mauritanian court upheld a death sentence handed to an Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) assassin found guilty of gunning down an American in 2009, a judicial source said Wednesday. Mohamed Abdallahi Ould Hmednah, sentenced to death in March 2011 for killing Christopher Legget in downtown Nouakchott, had appealed the sentence. “The court upheld the verdict as well as the death sentence against main accused Mohamed Abdellahi Ould Hmednah and prison sentences for his two accomplices,” said the judicial source on condition of anonymity. Two men charged alongside Hmednah received twelve and three year prison terms respectively. On June 23, 2011, Legget was shot three times in the head in central Nouakchott by armed men as he got out of his car in front of his office. Witnesses said the attackers had tried to kidnap him, but he had strongly resisted and they killed him instead. AQIM, the regional branch of the late Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network, claimed responsibility for the killing. The group has been responsible for many kidnappings, hostage murders and attacks across the Sahel in recent years.