Bethany Haines, 24, watched as Alexanda Kotey, 37, admitted conspiring to abduct and behead Western hostages. He appeared over live link from a federal court in Virginia yesterday – almost seven years to the day since David Haines, Bethany’s dad, was executed. The aids worker was paraded in horrifying propaganda videos released by the so-called Islamic State.
Bethany, who previously travelled to Syria to search for her dad’s remains, described the plea as a “psychotic game” and said Kotey – one of a gang of four IS militants nicknamed “the Beatles” by their captives due to their British accents – knows more than he has told the authorities.
Bethany told Daily Record: “In my mind I think he knows where the bodies are, but he’s stating he wasn’t at the executions.
“There is no firm evidence, but I strongly believe he was there and he’s holding on to that because we can’t prove otherwise.
“I think it’s all part of his psychotic game.
“His plea doesn’t change anything for me.”
The court heard Kotey could be transferred to the UK to plead guilty and serve a life sentence in his home country.
But Bethany, from Perth, Scotland, wants the thug to remain behind bars in the US.
She added: “I don’t think we expected him to be the one to fold. I think we were all in a bit of shock.
“But I don’t think his plea was brave or impressive. I think he has his own reasons for doing so and I think we will end up suffering long term in some shape or form.
“I’m not thrilled at the prospect of him being able to transfer to the UK. I think that’s a dangerous move. We fought for years to keep him out of the UK and they’re just going to bring him back after 15 years.
“It’s not going to be in the interest of the families or in the interest of the UK to have him back here.
“It’s written into his plea deal so there’s a very strong possibility he will return but he should stay over there for good.”
David, 44, was helping refugees in a camp near the Turkish border when he was captured in March 2013.
He was held for 18 months before being beheaded by Mohammed Emwazi – aka Jihadi John – in September 2014.
Sickening images of the killing – along with those of Alan Henning, another British aid worker, US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and US aid worker Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller – were turned into Isis propaganda.
The slayings sparked outrage and revulsion around the world after being broadcast in graphic detail.
Kotey, who grew up in London, admitted eight charges at a change of plea hearing at US District Court in Alexandria on Thursday.
He admitted four counts of hostage taking resulting in death, conspiracy to commit hostage taking resulting in death, conspiracy to murder United States citizens outside of the United States, conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists – hostage taking and murder – resulting in death and conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organisation resulting in death.
Evidence read against Kotey outlined his role in the atrocities, including subjecting the hostages to brutal treatment with mock executions, shocks with tasers, physical restraints and other brutal acts.
The court heard Kotey has agreed to fully co-operate with authorities as part of his plea agreement.
The ISIS cell – said to be made up of ringleader Emwazi , Aine Davis, El Shafee Elsheikh and Kotey – was allegedly responsible for the brutal killings of a number of Western and Japanese captives.
Kotey and Elsheikh were brought to the US last year from a Kurdish prison to face charges on the condition they would not be given a death sentence.
Elsheikh is scheduled to stand trial in January.
Emwazi was killed by a US drone strike in 2015 and Davis is serving a sentence in a Turkish jail.