Man Arrested For Conspiring To Murder Exiled Pakistani Blogger Given 3 Months To Plead Guilty
A British-Pakistani man arrested and charged with murder for his involvement in a conspiracy to murder Holland-based Pakistani social media activist Ahmad Waqass Goraya was presented in a court in London earlier today (Monday).
The accused was presented before the court via video link, reportedly due to security concerns. The court directed the authorities concerned to complete the investigation into the case by September. Further, the authorities have been directed to present Khan before the court on October 29 with an offer to plead guilty. In case Khan pleads guilty, he would be convicted and sentenced by January 4 or 11. If he refuses to plead guilty, the trial will begin thereafter.
Earlier on Saturday, the Crown Prosecution Service had stated that Muhammad Gohir Khan, born on Feb 16, 1990, was charged on June 28 with one count of conspiring to kill Ahmad Waqas Goraya, who resides in the Netherlands in self-exile.
“The exact charge is that between the 16th day of February 2021 and the 24th day of June 2021 [Gohir Khan] conspired together with persons unknown to murder Ahmad Waqas Goraya, contrary to section 1 (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977,” the statement said.
In the wee hours of February 12, Ahmad Waqass Goraya was moved from his home to a secure location in the Netherlands over security fears. Gohar Khan had come to the Netherlands twice; on February 16 and June 24.
Upon his return to the UK on Jan 24, Dutch authorities had told the UK authorities that he needed to be taken into custody, following which he was arrested. However, he had managed to secure bail in four hours.
The next day, he was arrested by the UK Counterterrorism Department. A magistrate had then handed him to the police on a 3-week remand.