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Last Updated: Monday, 21 November 2005, 18:02 GMT
Diplomat murder accused on trial
A 50-year-old man has gone on trial accused of killing a British-based Indian diplomat in 1984.

Mohammed Aslam Mirza denies the murder, kidnap and false imprisonment of Ravinder Mhatre, who worked at the Indian High Commission in Birmingham.

Birmingham Crown Court was told Mr Mhatre was shot in the neck, chest and head near Sapcote, Leicestershire.

Mr Mirza joined a group named the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front to carry out the acts, the jury heard.

'In cold blood'

Prosecutor William Davis QC said: "This case is about an act of terrorism, the killing of a man for supposed political ends as long ago as 1984."

The court heard Mr Mhatre lived in a modest home in Bartley Green, Birmingham, with his wife and children and travelled to and from his workplace in New Street by bus.

The 48-year-old diplomat was snatched off a road, bundled into a car and taken to a makeshift prison at a house in Alum Rock, Birmingham, where he was held for two days until 5 February, 1984, Mr Davis said.

"He was driven to a really remote spot in Leicestershire and in that isolated spot he was shot three times," he said.

'Party to murder'

"In simple terms he was executed in cold blood."

Prior to his killing letters demanding a 1m ransom and the release of an "iconic" figure in the Kashmiri independence movement - sentenced to death by the Indian authorities - were sent to news agencies.

Mr Davis said two men had been convicted of murder shortly after the killing, but Mr Mirza is alleged to have fled the country.

Mr Mirza, formerly of Naseby Road, Alum Rock, but now of no fixed address, was brought back to the UK from America after he infringed immigration laws two years ago.

Mr Davis told the court the man who shot Mr Mhatre has never been caught.

He said although Mr Mirza was not present at the scene he was "party" to the murder by taking part in the enterprise which led to Mr Mhatre's death.

The trial continues.

Accused denies murder of diplomat
24 Feb 05 |  West Midlands

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