A Supreme Court jury in central Queensland has heard Mohammed Khan murdered Syeid Alam over an alleged affair between the deceased’s brother and Khan’s wife.
- Prosecutor Joshua Phillips told the court Mr Alam’s head was wrapped in jeans
- He says the wife of the accused allegedly had an affair with Mr Alam’s brother
- Mohammed Khan’s lawyer says there is a lack of proof tying him to the murder
Mr Alam’s headless body was found on Rockhampton’s Fitzroy River in April 2016.
Mr Khan, who had been living in Rockhampton, has pleaded not guilty to murder.
In his opening statement on Monday morning, crown prosecutor Joshua Phillips told the court Mr Alam’s head was found “wrapped” in a pair of jeans.
Mr Phillips told the jury Mr Alam and Mr Khan, both former meat workers, were also friends outside of work and that Mr Alam had alerted Mr Khan to an explicit image — taken by his own brother from a Skype call.
“Khan was a friend, at least to the casual observer, but the catalyst for this killing started a few months before,” Mr Phillips said.
“Suparti Suparti, Mr Khan’s wife and mother to his children, unhappy with him, she struck up a special relationship with Sha Alam Sha Alam — the brother of the deceased.
“It was the sort of special relationship which brings marriages undone, the sort of relationship that turns some men to violence.
“The sort of special relationship that involved her bearing herself intimately over the Skype video calls that she would have with Sha Alam, who was in Sydney at the time.
“Shamefully, Sha Alam kept an image of that. It was an indelible record of her betrayal of Khan.
“Syeid Alam was brutally murdered, in secret under the subterfuge of going for a fish along the banks of the Fitzroy River on the evening of the 5th of April, 2016.
“Khan took a knife to Syeid’s neck, severing everything important before wielding an axe to cleave his head from his body.”
Prosecutor Joshua Phillips told the court the murder revolved around an extramarital affair. (ABC News: Jemima Burt)
Mr Phillips told the jury the tidal movement of the Fitzroy River gave the accused the means to clean up after the murder.
“He wrapped the head in jeans and left the naked body, which was not discovered for days,” he said.
‘No forensic link’
But in his opening statement, Mr Khan’s defence counsel Andrew Hoare said there was a lack of scientific proof in the defendant’s car or home linking him to the crime.
“The issue, in this case, is identification, that is — who killed Syeid Alam?” Mr Hoare said.
“There is no trace of Syeid’s blood or other biological material in Mohammed Khan’s black jeep or at his house … there is no scientific evidence connecting Mohammed Khan with the killing.
“Consider in that context injuries suffered by Syeid Alam — not just a knife cut but a further dismemberment by decapitation, but no forensic link to Mohammed Khan.”
Mr Hoare also told the jury Mr Khan had known about the affair between his wife and the deceased’s brother for months.
Ferdous Ferdous told the court her husband went fishing with Mr Khan the night he went missing. (ABC News: Jemima Burt)
“Evidence from witnesses will show Mohammed Khan was aware of the affair in February 2016,” he said.
“There is evidence that after that date, Mohammed and Syeid’s friendship endured.
“The motive that the crown said should be considered within the context of that other evidence and a consideration of that other evidence will lead to the conclusion that Mohammed Khan is not guilty of Syeid’s murder.”
Mr Khan is receiving a translation of the trial proceedings through a Rohingyan interpreter.
Image revealed via shared phone ID
Mr Alam’s widow, Ferdous Ferdous, gave evidence this morning through an interpreter.
Ms Ferdous, who was heavily pregnant with the couple’s second child when her husband went missing, told the court he had told her he was going fishing with Mohammed Khan on the night in April 2016.
She cried as she told the court that she and her husband had gone for a drive to buy chocolate for their children hours before he left.
She said about a month before he went missing he had shown her the explicit image of Mr Khan’s wife.
She said her husband showed her the photo on a phone, which had shown up because he shared an Apple ID with his brother.
Under cross-examination by Mr Khan’s lawyer, Ms Ferdous told the court: “I know only one thing — that my husband [has] been killed by him.”