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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 February, 2005, 12:13 GMT
Accused denies murder of diplomat
A man has denied the murder and kidnap of an Indian diplomat in 1984.

Mohammed Aslam Mirza, 49, appeared via video link at Birmingham Crown Court accused of killing Ravinder Mhatre, Deputy High Commissioner in Birmingham.

Mr Mirza, of no fixed address, spoke only to confirm his name and to deny the charges of kidnap, false imprisonment and murder on Thursday.

He appeared from custody at HMP Woodhill in Buckinghamshire and is expected to stand trial in June.

Mr Mhatre, who was 48, was kidnapped by a group demanding the release of Kashmiri prisoners as he returned from work in February 1984.

His body was discovered at a farm in Leicestershire two days after he went missing.

He had been shot three times in the head, neck and chest.

A provisional date for Mr Mirza's trial has been fixed for 13 June.

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