September 11 victim's NZ brother feels no hate

By Jarrod Booker

Ralph Beaven has every reason to harbour a personal hatred for September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui.

The Aucklander's younger brother Alan was among those on board Flight 93, which was hijacked and crashed before it could reach its target. Alan Beaven, 48, was the only New Zealander killed that day in 2001.

At his death penalty trial in Virginia this week, Moussaoui added insult to injury for the families by stating he wished "there could be more pain", and that reports of the deaths made his day.

But Mr Beaven knows anger and bitterness won't bring his brother back.

"It's very sad that he hasn't got any remorse or repentance for what he has done and the pain and suffering he has caused," he said.

"I don't have a hatred towards him, and I don't think any of the family have got a hatred towards him or any of the other hijackers.

"It's partially due to spirituality. I think our family has always taken a Christian viewpoint, in terms of not harbouring hate and that justice will prevail.

"We have to move forward. We have all got our own lives to live. And we have to get on with living, don't we.

So from that point of view, if you are expending a lot of energy in terms of hatred and bitterness, I think it's all self-consuming to yourself as well."

Mr Beaven said the death penalty sought for Moussaoui was "something that is totally outside my control".

"Whatever I think and feel about what should or shouldn't happen, I'm not going to have any influence over it at all.

"He's going to be tried according to the American justice system."

Alan Beaven met his first wife, Elizabeth, at Auckland University and the pair travelled overseas in 1976, two years after he graduated in law with honours. They had two sons, John and Chris.

The couple parted on friendly terms in 1986 and Mr Beaven then met his second wife, Kimi.

He had a diverse legal career, which included stints as a law professor at King's College in London, as a criminal defence lawyer and prosecutor in Britain, as well as positions in other countries.

He had long practised meditation and Siddha yoga and was active in the SYDA Foundation, an international non-profit organisation dedicated to humanitarian and spiritual work.

He had been working in San Francisco and had started a year's sabbatical, living with Kimi and 5-year-old daughter Sonali in New York.

They were considering going to India to do volunteer work for SYDA.

On the morning he died, Mr Beaven was heading to San Francisco for one last case - a water pollution hearing.

Ralph Beaven said his brother was "naturally bright" and was drawn to represent the underdog.

"He took cases against major companies like Shell and was very successful."

 

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