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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 March, 2004, 14:30 GMT
Man denies killing fellow refugee
Burnt out car
Mr Krasniqi was found in his burnt-out Rover car
An asylum seeker has denied he was involved in the murder of a fellow Albanian.

Ardit Gjermeni, 20, told a jury he had been on friendly terms with Taf Krasniqi, whose body was found in a Bedfordshire field in September 2002.

The badly-burned remains of Mr Krasniqi, 25, were found in a burnt-out Rover car, the continuing trial at Luton Crown Court heard on Thursday.

The victim had been stabbed in the head, neck, shoulder and chest.

Forensic evidence showed that Mr Krasniqi's hands were bound.

The prosecution allege the murder was a revenge attack on Mr Krasniqi, who they believed had planned the abduction and murder of Mr Gjermeni and another man in a row over cannabis dealing.

They claim that at least three men were involved. Two have fled and are wanted for murder with only Mr Gjermeni charged, the jury were told.

'We never argued'

The victim came to Britain in 1999 and was living with his Czech girlfriend in Celandine Road in Luton at the time of his death .

Giving evidence, Mr Gjermeni, of Runley Road, Luton, told the court that he and Mr Krasniqi met in 2000 and would see each other socially.

He said: "I would say he was a friend. We never argued. We had no reason to at all."

He said that Mr Krasniqi had confided in him that when he was a teenager in Albania, he had stabbed a person in the heart and had been jailed for five years when he managed to escape during the civil war.

Mr Krasniqi had told him that people were out to kill him for revenge, he said.

Asked when he first learned of the killing, Mr Gjermeni said it was when he read it in a local newspaper.

"I wasn't involved in his murder, " he said.

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