The Press Association11/10/2010
Two men who were extradited from Iraq have stood trial at the Old Bailey accused of taking part in the "honour killing" of Banaz Mahmod from south London.
The 20-year-old was strangled in January 2006 and her body buried in a suitcase in Birmingham.
She had been attacked at her family home in Mitcham, south London, by a group of men at the "instigation" of her father and uncle after falling in love with a man they did not approve of. Her uncle, Ari Mahmod, and father, Mahmod Mahmod, were jailed for life, along with Mohamad Hama, for her murder in 2007.
Mohammed Saleh Ali and Omar Hussain, alleged to be among the killers, fled Britain for Iraq after the murder, Victor Temple, QC, prosecuting, told the court. They had both since been extradited and charged with the murder.
Ali and Hussain, both 28, and of no fixed address, deny murdering Miss Mahmod, burying her body, conspiring to kidnap her boyfriend Rahmat Suleimani and threatening to kill him. A third man, Sadar Mahmood, 27, of Messenger Road, Birmingham, is not charged with murder but is being tried for the other offences, which he denies. Mr Temple alleged the three accused were part of a "wide-ranging joint enterprise" which led to Miss Mahmod's death.
Mr Temple said Miss Mahmod's family of Iraqi Kurds had been given political asylum in Britain, but retained some of their customs and were part of the close-knit Kurdish community in London where the uncle was wealthy and wielded influence. The question of family honour was taken very seriously and and bringing shame on the family could result in a woman "paying the ultimate penalty".
Miss Mahmod had been married at 17 but had left her violent husband to return home to her family in 2005. Soon after that she had started a relationship with Mr Suleimani. The couple had tried to keep their friendship secret, but Miss Mahmod's family found out and her father made it clear that Mr Suleimani would never be allowed to marry her.
"A mutual fondness developed into a deeply loving relationship," said Mr Temple. "Banaz's uncle and father were both upset, thinking it was a slur and shameful to the family. They decided she had to die and they were instrumental in orchestrating her murder."
Ali and Hussain were among a group of young men who were willing to do the uncle's bidding, it was alleged. Ali and Hussain, deny murdering Miss Mahmod, burying her body, conspiring to kidnap her boyfriend Rahmat Suleimani and threatening to kill him. Sadar Mahmood, is not charged with murder but is being tried for the other offences, which he denies.
In the weeks leading up to her death, she had complained to police that she and her boyfriend were in danger. Two days before she disappeared, the three defendants had tried to abduct Mr Suleimani in a car in west London. He was saved by friends but Hama had told him: "We are going to kill you and Banaz", Mr Temple told the jury. On January 24 2006, Miss Mahmod's parents left the family home and her mother said she had gone by the time they returned later that morning. The trial has been adjourned to Tuesday.
The Press Association11/10/2010