updated 4/22/2006 6:29:15 AM ET 2006-04-22T10:29:15

The decapitated body of a British engineer Kenneth Bigley is buried in a ditch at an entrance to the Iraqi city of Fallujah, the lawyer of a suspected al-Qaida militant who allegedly ordered the beheading said Saturday.

The ditch is about 50 yards from an insurgent check point on the road from Nuamiya village, lawyer Osman Karahan said during a news conference in Istanbul.

The British Foreign Office said it was investigating the claim.

“We are following up the claims, as we have pursued every possible lead whether or not the information is likely to prove accurate,” a Foreign office spokesman said, speaking on condition of anonymity in keeping with government policy.

The Ministry of Defense added that British forces had no plans to look for the body.

Karahan said his client, Loa’i Mohammed Haj Bakr al-Saqa, presided over an informal court that sentenced Bigley to death in Iraq in accordance with Islamic sharia law. Karahan did not say whether al-Saqa actually carried out the sentence.

“He took the decision, we have no information on the execution of the sentence. My client has not made an announcement on that,” he said.

Bigley, 62, was kidnapped Sept. 16, 2004, with two American co-workers for Gulf Services Co. Both Americans were beheaded, and Bigley’s decapitation was confirmed Oct. 10, 2004.

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