A plot to murder exiled blogger and activist Ahmad Waqass Goraya has been revealed before a court in the United Kingdom, during the trial of 31-year-old Gohir Khan, a British-Pakistani based in the UK, local media reported.
The trial began at the Kingston-upon-Thames crown court on Thursday, with the prosecution revealing details of the plot to murder Goraya who is a Pakistani origin man but based in Rotterdam, Netherlands, according to Dawn newspaper.
The prosecution said that Khan was hired by persons who appeared to be based in Pakistan to carry out the "intended killing" of Goraya.
The financial rewards for his actions were believed to be significant, with a payment of 1,00,000 Pound on offer. At the time, the prosecution claimed, the defendant was in significant debt, with no clear means of paying his creditors, Dawn reported.
According to the publication, the prosecution described how the defendant travelled to Rotterdam and sought to locate the victim, purchasing a knife which he intended to use to kill Goraya.
After a few days of unsuccessful attempts to locate the victim, Khan gave up and travelled back to the UK. He was arrested on his return, the prosecution said.
Khan was reportedly sent a picture of the blogger as well as his address by a middleman, identified by the prosecution as "Mudz", "Zed", and "Papa".
Messages exchanged between Khan and the middleman show the defendant asking for information about the victim. Khan asked, "Is it a deep sea fish, or just tuna?" in an attempt to understand whether the 'job' was big or small.
He also said "sharks are expensive, tunas [sic] cheap", implying that if it's a bigger target it will cost more money. The middleman responded by saying that the target was "just tuna, but not UK tuna, European tuna. A bit of travelling involved."
Throughout their exchange, Khan and the middleman used fish and fishing metaphors, such as fishing accessories, to refer to the job, according to Dawn.
The jury was told that though Khan accepts sending and receiving all of the messages admitted as evidence and accepts being the person on the CCTV travelling to and around Rotterdam, he maintains that he never intended that Goraya should be killed.
Goraya is an activist and blogger who left Pakistan after he and five other bloggers were abducted and later released in Islamabad in 2017, as per Dawn. (ANI)