Payment made into Pakistan bank linked to blogger’s murder plot, UK court told

Published January 18, 2022
A file photo of Netherlands-based blogger and activist Ahmad Waqass Goraya. — Photo courtesy DW News
A file photo of Netherlands-based blogger and activist Ahmad Waqass Goraya. — Photo courtesy DW News

LONDON: On day three of the trial of Muhammad Gohir Khan, the man charged with conspiracy to murder Netherlands-based blogger and activist Ahmad Waqass Goraya, the jury was once again told details of how this alleged plot was hatched and funds transferred to finalise the deal.

A middleman identified as Muzammil, who used the nicknames Mudz, Zed and Papa on Whatsapp, was in contact with Khan over several months in 2021 when the two discussed the hit as well as payment for the job.

Muzamil paid nearly £5000 pounds into an Allied Bank account belonging to a Muhammad Amin Asif in Chiniot. This money, the Crown Prosecution Service said, was part of the deal between Khan and the middleman to kill Goraya.

Khan later received £4888 in the UK via Hundi transfer, which he then used to purchase tickets, arrange for tests and book his stay in the Netherlands.

The middleman was wary of being traced to the bank account, and he and Khan spent days discussing how to transfer the money without being tracked down as well as what the exchange rate would be.

The financial rewards for Khan’s actions were believed to be significant, with a payment of £100,000 on offer. At the time, the prosecution claimed, the defendant was in significant debt, with no clear means of paying his creditors

The prosecution also outlined in detail the “deal between Khan and the middleman”, with an agreement of a total payment of £100,000, of which £80,000 was to be paid to the defendant and the remainder to the middleman.

The trial is set to continue this week. Khan has pleaded not guilty to the charge, and maintained that his intention was not to kill Goraya but to take the cash from the individuals in Pakistan.

Khan does not deny that he is the person identified by the police in the message exchanges as well as the CCTV footage at various locations.

Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2022

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