THE body of a hostage who was kidnapped in Iraq five years ago is to be returned to Scotland after an apology from his captors.
Alan McMenemy, a security guard from Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire, was snatched by gunmen along with three other guards and an IT expert they were protecting in 2007.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was working with Iraqi authorities to bring the "horrendous ordeal" to a close.
The bodyguards' protection target, Peter Moore, was released alive in December 2009, and the bodies of the three other guards were returned to Britain.
Last night Mr Moore said: "It's obviously going to bring closure to the whole hostage situation of Iraq, in terms of the British side."
"We've been waiting for the body for a long time.
"When I was released I was told that the body would be released with me. Obviously that never happened."
Alec MacLachlan, 30, from Llanelli, South Wales, Jason Swindlehurst, 38, from Skelmersdale, Lancashire, and Jason Creswell, 39, originally from Glasgow, were abducted with 36-year-old computer expert Mr Moore and Mr McMenemy, who was 34 at the time of the kidnap.
The bodies of the three guards were passed to British authorities in Iraq in 2009.
Mr Moore was released on December 30 that year, 946 days after he was kidnapped.
The Foreign Office said: "The uncertainty over Alan's fate has been a source of great distress for his family.
"It has been a horrendous ordeal for everyone involved. We are working with the Iraqi authorities and others to bring this matter to resolution."
Speaking in 2010, Mr McMenemy's father Dennis said he was still hoping his son was alive after reports at that time.
He said: "The only thing I want to believe is that he is still alive."
He and his son's wife, Roseleen, 34, have been left in limbo since the kidnapping.
Qais al Khazali, leader of the Iraq Shi'ite militia Asaib al Haq, or League of the Righteous, said: "The brothers told me that those four bodyguards tried to escape ... they took advantage of a negligent moment and took the weapon of one of their guards and the clash ensued and led to this result. We honestly are sorry for that incident."
A source working with the hostages' families said the statement from the group's leadership "must be taken seriously", adding: "We remain very eager to see the return of Alan to the UK."