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Last Updated: Friday, 15 July, 2005, 10:11 GMT 11:11 UK
'Warlord' retrial jurors retire
Sarwar Zardad
Zardad's Old Bailey trial in 2004 lasted seven weeks
The jury in the Old Bailey retrial of an alleged Afghan warlord have retired to consider their verdicts and will resume their deliberations on Monday.

Faryadi Sarwar Zardad, 42, of Streatham, London, has denied charges of conspiracy to torture and conspiracy to take hostages in Afghanistan.

Jurors in Zardad's first trial late last year failed to reach a decision.

He was the first to be tried under a law allowing trial in the UK regardless of where the alleged torture occurred.

"We believe it is the first time in any country, in international law, where offences of torture and hostage taking have been tried in circumstances such as this," said James Lewis QC, prosecuting.

Many prosecution witnesses gave evidence from the British Embassy in Kabul via video link.

It was alleged Mr Zardad was a warlord in charge of the Sarobi area outside Kabul between 1991 and 1996.

He was later found living in London.

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