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Page last updated at 18:15 GMT, Tuesday, 24 June 2008 19:15 UK

'Bomb plot' wife gave false name

Mohammed Gulzar
Ms Siddique said she met Mohammed Gulzar at an airport

A suspected airline bomb plotter's wife has told a jury she gave police a false name and lied to protect her fugitive husband's identity.

Zora Siddique said she had initially given her cousin's name to officers and had failed to reveal Mohammed Gulzar's identity because he was a wanted man.

Prosecutors allege that Mr Gulzar and others plotted to smuggle liquid bombs disguised as drinks on to planes.

Eight men deny conspiring to murder and endanger aircraft leaving the UK.

Under cross-examination from prosecutor Peter Wright QC, at Woolwich Crown Court, Ms Siddique said she still considered herself married, despite Mr Gulzar's fugitive status, and did not feel cheated, deceived or used.

Asking her why she had not signed her police statement, Mr Wright said: "You were not prepared to sign anything that might compromise your husband.

"Is the position that you were not prepared to do anything unless you had approval?"

She replied: "I haven't been used at all."

The court heard that the couple met at Islamabad airport in March 2006.

Ms Siddique admitted she had been flattered by Mr Gulzar's attention as he had asked for her phone number, but he had failed to tell her his name before she flew to Belgium.

During the first week of their phone relationship, he had told her that his name was Ali, she added.

It had only been as they were deciding to get married in South Africa that he told her, falsely, his name was Altaf Ravat.

The court has previously heard that Mr Gulzar was wanted for another "serious" crime and left the UK for Pakistan in 2002.

Ms Siddique, when asked about her plans to marry and leave behind her two daughters in Belgium, denied that she was "seduced" into doing her husband's bidding.

However, Ms Siddique agreed that she would have gone on the run with Mr Gulzar had the situation arose.

But Ms Siddique also said that she did not come to court "to cover" for her husband, saying she was "here to tell the truth".

Mr Gulzar's co-defendants are Assad Sarwar, 24, of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Tanvir Hussain, 27, of Leyton, east London, and Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 27, Waheed Zaman, 23, and Arafat Waheed Khan, 26, all of Walthamstow, east London.

Also charged are Ibrahim Savant, 27, of Stoke Newington, north London, and Umar Islam, 29, of Plaistow, east London.

The trial continues.





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