Radio Sandwell Local News

Man who helped in cousin's honour killing loses appeal bid

2014-09-19 23:02:17

Banaz Mahmod
Banaz Mahmod

A man who helped dispose of his cousin's body in Birmingham after she was murdered by relatives in an 'honour killing' has lost an appeal.

Banaz Mahmod, 20, was strangled with a shoelace by her father and uncle after walking out of a violent arranged marriage and falling in love with another man.

Her cousin Dana Amin, 30, helped stuff her body into a suitcase and move it to Birmingham, where it was discovered buried in a back garden in April 2006.

Amin, of Mitcham, Surrey, was jailed for eight years at Southwark Crown Court in December last year, after being found guilty of perverting the course of justice and preventing a lawful burial.

He challenged his convictions at London's Criminal Appeal Court, with his lawyers arguing covert recordings made in prison of conversations between Banaz's father and uncle should not have been played to jurors.

But his appeal was dismissed by Appeal Court judges, who said the original trial judge was entitled to admit the conversations in evidence.

The judges also rejected an appeal against his jail term, saying it was 'not excessive' given the remorse he had shown.

Banaz Mahmod
Banaz Mahmod's father Mahmod Mahmod (left) and her uncle Ari Mahmod strangled her with a shoelace

Iraq-born Banaz was murdered by members of her family after walking out of a violent arranged marriage and falling in love with another man, Rahmat Sulemani.

A plot was hatched between her father Mahmod Mahmod and uncle, Ari Mahmod - both of whom were later convicted of her murder and jailed for life in 2007.

On January 23, the eve of her death, Amin attended a meeting in Brixton with other family members to discuss plans to kill Banaz.

He and two other cousins, Mohammed Ali, and Omar Hussain - who were jailed in 2010 after being extradited from Iraq - later travelled to Birmingham in Amin's black Lexus to help get rid of her body.

Amin's lawyers argued covert recordings of discussions between his uncles, in which he was implicated in the disposal of Banaz's body, should not have been played to the jury.

They said that, as they were not witnesses in his trial, there was no opportunity to cross-examine them about the discussions and whether the statements they made were accurate.

But, dismissing the appeal, Lord Justice Fulford said the conversations merely added to the weight of other evidence of Amin's guilt and that, while it was prejudicial, it did not undermine his convictions.

Banaz Mahmod
Mohammed Ali (left) and Omar Hussain were also jailed for life for the 'honour killing'

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