"After killing his wife he fled the UK to Pakistan."
Zafar Iqbal is facing life in prison after he admitted to murdering his wife when she asked for a divorce.
He strangled Naziat Khan with a scarf at their home in Norbury, London, in August 2001. Iqbal then fled to Pakistan where he remained for 20 years.
He was extradited to the UK in September 2021.
Iqbal appeared at the Old Bailey via video link to admit murder.
Iqbal is one of the first defendants to be extradited from Pakistan to the UK in the wake of improved relations between the two countries.
He had been abusing and beating his wife for years before he killed her.
More than a year before murdering his wife, Iqbal tied her up and wrapped a scarf around her head and mouth so she could not talk.
He warned her: “I’m going to kill you.”
Prosecutor Anthony Orchard previously told the court:
“On Monday, 20 August 2001, shortly after 1 pm in the afternoon, the defendant killed his wife.
“He strangled her to death. The killing took place at an address in Norbury, southwest London.
“After killing his wife he fled the UK to Pakistan.
“The police were made aware the following day and the deceased was found at the address.
“A post-mortem examination confirmed strangulation.”
Elaborating on the extradition process, Mr Orchard continued:
“In relation to bail, the defendant fled to Pakistan and a first incident warrant was issued for his arrest in 2005.
“After that, enquiries were made with the Pakistani authorities, because there was no formal extradition treaty with them, and an extradition warrant was issued which was executed in Pakistan finally in December 2017.
“The defendant was remanded in custody in Pakistan and our understanding is that since that time he has fought against his extradition.
“He was extradited to the UK on 14th September this year and arrested on his arrival.”
Naziat was brought up in the UK but had an arranged marriage with Iqbal in 1985.
A year before her death, she had started divorce proceedings and Iqbal had moved out of their house in Windermere Road, Norbury.
Iqbal had contacted the Islamic Council about the divorce on the day of the murder and told an official it was “embarrassing”.
He strangled his wife in her home in front of a witness he also threatened to kill.
Iqbal was asked: ‘”Why are you doing this?”
He replied: “Because she is having a divorce.”
Iqbal is due to be sentenced on December 19, 2022, and faces life in prison.