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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 October, 2004, 14:08 GMT 15:08 UK
Afghan 'said he enjoyed killing'
Faryadi Sarwar Zardad
Faryadi Sarwar Zardad denies the charges
An alleged Afghan warlord who lives in London told one of his victims "I like killing" seconds before shooting him, the Old Bailey has heard.

Giving evidence via a live video link with Afghanistan, a witness said he saw Faryadi Sarwar Zardad kill the man for delivering flour to a rival faction.

The witness also said he had suffered imprisonment and beatings at the hands of Mr Zardad and his men.

Mr Zardad denies conspiring to kidnap and torture in his homeland.

He is the first person to be tried at the Old Bailey under Section 134 of the Criminal Justice Act, which allows Britain to try alleged torturers regardless of where the crime is alleged to have occurred.

'Better to be killed'

The witnesses are the first to give evidence from a specially-prepared room in the British Embassy in Kabul, which is being used as an extension of the Central Criminal Court in London.

Witness C, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said he and his co-workers were stopped and told their flour delivery was forbidden.

The walls were full of blood. I was petrified
Witness C

"One of the drivers pleaded with Zardad and said 'We are trying to earn a living to feed our children and if you do not allow this it is better to be killed.'

"He said 'I like killing'."

The driver replied "I would like to be killed rather than live like this," according to witness C.

He continued: "Zardad asked him 'would you like to be killed?' The driver said 'Yes, I would like.'

"Zardad pulled his handgun and shot him and after killing him he kicked him."

Witness C claims he was then imprisoned for three days.

'Petrified'

He also told how he was imprisoned on a separate occasion for three weeks by Mr Zardad's men.

"I was imprisoned in a dark room. There were chains hanging from the roof.

"They tied one chain to my foot and the other to my hand.

"The walls were full of blood. I was petrified. Sometimes I was beaten. I had bruises to my body," he said.

On Tuesday another witness told the court how he was imprisoned and whipped with a cable every night for six months by Mr Zardad and his men.

Mr Zardad, 42, of Gleneagle Road, Streatham, south London, denies conspiracy to torture and conspiracy to take hostages between 31 December 1991 and 30 September 1996.

The trial continues.





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