Blogger media

Pakistan hired a ‘hitman’ to kill me, dissident blogger claims in UK court, World News

An outspoken exiled blogger has accused Pakistan of trying to kill him in the Netherlands, after an alleged hitman was convicted in a British court.

Muhammad Gohir Khan, the 31-year-old British Pakistani who works in an east London supermarket, was found guilty on Friday of conspiring to kill Ahmad Waqass Goraya.

The criminal court adjourned the case for sentencing on March 11, with Khan likely facing life in prison.

Khan was charged in June last year with conspiring with other unknown people to assassinate Goraya in the Netherlands.

He was arrested after returning to the UK by train.

Prosecutor Alison Morgan said Goraya, who lives with his wife and two children in the Netherlands, appears to have been targeted for speaking out against the Pakistani government and military in satirical social media posts.

The trial, which lasted around two weeks from January 11, presented chilling details of how Khan was approached in early 2021 and paid by a Pakistan-based man identified as Muzamil for “work”.

Later, he was informed that the job was a contract to kill Goraya, a dissident blogger who left Pakistan to live in exile in Rotterdam.

It was argued in court that Khan had received £5,000 as an advance via hundi, with the principal payment being made to a Pakistani bank account by Muzamil.

The deal was that Khan would receive the remainder, £80,000, once he had completed the job.

On cross-examination, Khan agreed to being asked to kill Goraya, but he never intended to carry out the murder, saying he was only looking for money.

Speaking to AFP news agency, Goraya said he was disappointed that law enforcement did not identify those who organized his murder.

Giving the amount of money involved and the knowledge the plotters had of his secret location, he said: “I’m sure it’s the Pakistani state.

(With agency contributions)