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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 December 2005, 18:02 GMT
Man cleared of diplomat killing
A 50-year-old man accused of killing a British-based Indian diplomat in 1984 has been acquitted of his murder.

Mohammed Aslam Mirza was also acquitted of the 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.

A jury took just under five hours to deliver their verdicts after a trial lasting nine days.

Mr Mirza, formerly of Naseby Road, Alum Rock, Birmingham, told the court he had no involvement whatsoever in the murder.

He said he was appalled by it and he had no recollection of events in 1984 due to severe memory problems.

Earlier, the court had heard how Mr Mhatre, who lived in Bartley Green with his wife and children, had been snatched off a road, bundled in a car and taken to a makeshift prison at a house in Alum Rock.

'Cold blood'

Prosecutor William Davis QC said he was held there for two days until 5 February.

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

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

Before his killing letters demanding a 1m ransom and the release of a prisoner sentenced to death by Indian authorities were sent to news agencies.

Two men were convicted of murder shortly afterwards.

However, the man believed to have actually shot Mr Mhatre has never been caught.

Diplomat murder accused on trial
21 Nov 05 |  West Midlands

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