London: A man has gone on trial in the UK after being accused of plotting to kill a Pakistani blogger living in the Netherlands, media reported on Friday.
A court heard that Muhammad Gohir Khan, 31, had been hired as a “hitman” by figures believed to be based in Pakistan, reports the BBC.
He was arrested last June.
He pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to murder.
Lawyers said the intended victim, Ahmad Waqass Goraya, created a Facebook blog mocking the Pakistani military and detailing alleged human rights abuses, the BBC reports.
Kingston Crown Court heard that Goraya, who was living in Rotterdam at the time, “was known to have exposed the activities of the Pakistani government and appears to have been targeted for this reason”.
The jury were told that Khan, a supermarket worker in east London, was heavily in debt – with the prosecution alleging he reacted ‘enthusiastic’ to the offer of a man named only ‘MudZ’ to kill the Pakistani political activist in exchange for £100,000 ($137,311).
Prosecution leader Alison Morgan QC reportedly told the BBC in December 2018 that Goraya had received information from the FBI that he was on a ‘kill list’ and that he had received online threats and in person, some of which he said “were orchestrated by the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence)”, the Pakistani intelligence agency.