A man suspected of an honour killing murder has admitted he left Britain partly because he was wanted for the crime.
Omar Hussain, one of two men extradited from Iraq last year to face charges of involvement in the crime, denies murder, but this afternoon told the Old Bailey he had lied to authorities in the past – including when he said his return to Iraq was nothing to do with the hunt for Miss Mahmood’s killers.
Banaz Mahmood, 20, from Morden Road, Mitcham, was killed in January 2006 because her relationship with a man allegedly shamed Miss Mahmood’s family in the eyes of the Iraqi Kurdish community. Her body was later found buried in a back garden in Birmingham.
Her father and uncle have already been convicted of carrying out the murder.
Mr Hussain, who claims he was shot in the leg in Iraq last year on the orders of his brother, and two other men are facing charges relating to the murder in a trail.
Mr Hussain - who lived in Croydon, Hull and Birmingham during his seven-year stay in Britain - told the court he worked with Miss Mahmood's uncle Ari Mahmod in a money transfer business that would see him drive Iraqi Kurds across Britain and pick up cash to be sent to their relatives in Iraq.
The 32-year-old said he did not know Miss Mahmood or her parents - but confirmed people in the Kurdish community were killed because of arguments about relationships.
Mr Hussain appeared in court walking on crutches, and told the court he had been shot in the thigh by corrupt policemen after a dispute with his brother last year.
He said disputes over land were the reason he came to Britain. He later moved back to Iraq but was arrested and extradited to Britain last year, along with Mohammed Ali - who like Mr Hussain faces charges of murder, threats to kill, and conspiracy to kidnap and pervert the course of justice.
A third man, Sadar Mahmood from the West Midlands, is also on trial for all of the charges apart from murder. All three deny the charges.
The trial continues.