Man hired gunman to murder ex-wife in Pakistan, jury hears

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A MAN plotted in Yorkshire to murder his ex-wife thousands of miles away in Pakistan but she survived being shot five times, a jury heard.

Amjad Ali arranged the attack on Neelam Amjid on March 31, last year because of the shame he believed she had brought to his family for divorcing him and then planning to marry a man she had met through Facebook, Robert Smith QC claimed yesterday.

She was lured to a street in Lahore with the promise of some money being given to her but the man she was to meet pulled a gun and opened fire on the 31-year-old.

As she fled she was struck by five bullets but lived because they passed through her body missing vital organs.

However the new man in her life, Waqas Saeed was not so fortunate, he was hit by a bullet in the spine which has left him paralysed from the waist down as he sat in a car nearby waiting for her, he said.

Mr Smith told the jury at Leeds Crown Court the man who carried out the attack was Mir Hamza Haled who lived in Pakistan and was recruited by Ali and his brother-in-law Adnan Khalid.

“They reached an agreement for her to be killed in Lahore at a time when they were England.” Because the arrangements were made allegedly in the UK they are accused of a crime here, he said.

Ali, 42 of Aysgarth Road, Healey, Batley, and Khalid, 25 of Fairview Avenue, Carlinghow, Batley, both deny conspiracy with others to murder Neelam Amjid.

Mr Smith said she was born in the UK and had married Ali in 1997 in Pakistan when she was 17. She returned to Yorkshire and obtained a job as a supply teacher and he joined her a few months later.

However after 13 years of marriage the couple divorced under Islamic law. She claimed her husband had been abusive and violent to her.

Mr Smith told the jury they were not there to determine the rights or wrongs of the marriage but it was clear following the divorce Ali “considered he had been wronged and that Neelam Amjid had brought shame on him by her conduct, thus it was he decided she should be killed.”

Ali told one of his ex-wife’s brothers after the divorce was confirmed: “You should really have her killed.”

By then she had made contact with Mr Saeed on Facebook and a relationship developed. In January she went to Pakistan to meet him but was persuaded by family to return to Yorkshire and lived with her parents in Batley for a time.

However she then informed her family and Ali learned she intended to marry Mr Saeed and she returned to Lahore moving in with his family.

Mr Smith said it was then Ali’s brother Qadafi Ashraf was recruited to go to Pakistan “to orchestrate arrangements for the shooting” by Mir Hamza who was Khalid’s brother.

On March 31 Miss Amjid was told some money was going to be handed over to her in Shalimar Road, Lahore by Mir Hamza whom she knew well.

“As she approached him she thought that he had a strange look about him and she felt something was not right. She said to him ‘there is nothing for me to worry about is there?’.”

He told her there was not but then pulled a gun from his waistband and fired at her as she ran back towards the car where Mr Saeed was waiting.

She could not understand why the vehicle slowly moved forward and did not stop for her as she called to him unaware he had been shot.

She ran into the road and was nearly knocked down by vehicles before other people came to her aid and she was taken to hospital in a rickshaw.

Mr Smith told the jury: “The prosecution submit that the only reasonable conclusion is that Amjad Ali facilitated that meeting in order to have her shot.”

It was the Crown’s case the gunman’s only intention was to kill her and she was fortunate to survive.

When her outraged brother learned of the shooting he challenged Ali who allegedly told him: “She deserved it.”

The trial continues.