Monday September 27, 2021

Man appears in UK court for ‘plotting’ to kill Pak blogger in Holland

Man appears in UK court for ‘plotting’ to kill Pak blogger in Holland

LONDON: British Pakistani Muhammad Gohir Khan appeared at the Old Bailey on Monday accused of plotting to kill a Pakistani based in Netherlands.

The court heard that Gohir Khan, 31, was charged on 28 June with conspiring with “unknown persons” to murder Ahmad Waqas Goraya in the Netherlands between 16 February and 24 June this year.

Khan, from Forest Gate in East London, appeared in the court from Wandsworth prison custody for a preliminary hearing by video link. The defendant spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) told Mr Justice Sweeney that Mr Khan had been charged with one offence of conspiracy to murder with the alleged target being a “political commentator from Pakistan” who lives in the Netherlands.

During the hearing, Mr Justice Sweeney said the case would be heard at Kingston Crown Court. The Scotland Yard had said that the case is murder related and not terrorism related but the case at the court was registered at the court under the terrorism listing.

A plea hearing has been set for October 29 with a trial starting either on January 4 or January 11. According to the record available on Companies House, Mr Khan has been linked with different companies. Travel Tourism & Cargo Ltd; Abbas Travel & Tourism Ltd; and Cargo Services Worldwide Ltd are dissolved while Cargo Services Worldwide Ltd remains active.

According to court records, on 19 Aug 2020, a bankruptcy petition was filled at the court and on 2nd Feb, 2021, a bankruptcy order was issued by UK’s High Court of Justice declaring him bankrupt.

On Monday, neighbours described Gohir Khan as a “good man” who never caused any trouble to anyone in the area. One Bangladeshi neighbour said that he knew Gohir Khan’s father for over seven years and found the family to be good neighbours who quietly went about their lives. One neighbour from Eastern Europe said that the Khan family are “quiet, good people”.

It’s not clear where Gohir Khan was born but one of his friends said he had known Mr Khan for “ages” and described him as someone who helped others and avoided troubles. “I am shocked.”

Mr Gohir Khan on Monday was represented by a lawyer from Doughty Street chambers. The CPS confirmed that Gohir Khan had been charged on 28 June with conspiracy to murder, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977. Reporting restrictions remain on some parts of the court proceedings.