Khan reacted "enthusiastically" to a proposal
A man is accused of plotting to kill a Pakistani blogger living in the Netherlands and has subsequently gone on trial in London.
It was heard that 31-year-old Muhammad Gohir Khan was hired as a “hitman” by several individuals.
It is believed that the individuals are based in Pakistan.
Khan was arrested in June 2021 and pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to murder.
Lawyers said the intended victim, Ahmad Waqass Goraya had set up a Facebook blog, mocking the Pakistani military and detailing alleged human rights violations.
Mr Goraya lived in Rotterdam at the time.
Kingston Crown Court heard that Mr Goraya “was known for speaking out against the activities of the Pakistani government and appears to have been targeted for that reason”.
Khan was a supermarket worker from East London.
The court heard that he was heavily in debt.
According to prosecutors, Khan reacted “enthusiastically” to a proposal by a man named only as ‘MudZ’ to kill the Pakistani blogger in exchange for £100,000.
Leading the prosecution, Alison Morgan QC, said in December 2018, Mr Goraya received information from the FBI that he was on a “kill list”.
He also received threats online and in person, some of which he believed “were being orchestrated by ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence)”.
The court was shown alleged WhatsApp messages between Khan and a middleman named ‘MudZ’ appearing to discuss the murder allegedly using a code referencing fishing.
On one occasion, Mr Goraya was described as a “little fish” as opposed to a “shark” and that a “little knife… hook” would suffice for the job.
Another individual mentioned in the messages in relation to the alleged plot was referred to as ‘Big Boss’.
The prosecution explained that the defendant had been sent Mr Goraya’s home address and photograph.
Khan travelled to Rotterdam where he bought a knife, however, he was unable to locate Mr Goraya. Therefore, he returned to the UK where he was arrested.
Ms Morgan explained that Khan accepts sending and receiving all the messages in question and travelling to Rotterdam but maintains he intended to keep the money and not carry out the murder.
The prosecution alleges that he intended to carry out the murder.
The trial continues and is expected to last around two weeks.