NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Riasat Khan guilty of 'brutal' 1978 Kazi Ahmad murder in Aberdeen

Riasat Khan Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Riasat Khan denied murder, claiming he acted in self defence

A man has been convicted of murdering a restaurant owner in Aberdeen in 1978.

Riasat Khan, who is now 63, stabbed Kazi Ahmad, 41, at a flat in the city's Rosemount Viaduct before fleeing abroad.

He told the court that he acted in self defence when he struck Mr Ahmad with the knife.

A jury at the High Court in Edinburgh found Kahn, from Cardiff, guilty of murder after a five-day trial. Sentence was deferred.

After the conviction, the judge asked prosecutors why it had taken so long to bring Khan to justice.

Khan was a chef at the the Raj Dulal restaurant, owned by Mr Ahmad, in the city's Dee Street.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard the pair would visit the casino after shifts.

Image copyright COPFS
Image caption Riasat Khan is pictured as a younger man

During his trial, Khan claimed Mr Ahmad wanted him to perform sex acts on him, and he had stabbed him in self defence.

The chef told the court that, following the attack, he left Aberdeen and travelled to Edinburgh, where he placed a number of high stake bets at a gambling shop using money he had taken from his alleged victim.

Mr Khan said he then travelled to Birmingham and London before catching a ferry from Dover to France, from where he travelled onto Italy before catching a boat which took him to Greece.

The court heard that after he stayed there for about eight months, Mr Khan travelled back to Pakistan and remained there before travelling back to the UK in the early 1990s.

Khan was arrested at Birmingham Airport in May last year as he attempted to board a flight to Pakistan.

A police officer discovered that Scottish colleagues had issued a warrant for Khan's arrest in the days following Mr Ahmad's death.

Mr Khan said that he made a new life for himself and had thought the matter was in his past until he was arrested.

Time question

Judge Lord Beckett deferred sentence until 24 November at the High Court in Glasgow.

He asked prosecution lawyer Jane Farquharson why it had taken 39 years to bring Khan to justice.

Ms Farquharson said she was unable to provide answers at this point in time.

But she said prosecutors would find out ahead of Khan being sentenced.

Image caption Kazi Ahmad was found in Rosemount Viaduct in 1978

Det Supt Jim Smith of Police Scotland welcomed the conviction for what he said was a "brutal" murder.

He said: "The fact that Mr Ahmad had provided employment and accommodation for Khan, and generally looked out for him, makes the killing all the more deplorable."

He said a case had been presented 40 years on that "stood the test of time".

Det Supt Smith added: "Mr Ahmad's family have spent these years wondering if anyone would ever be held accountable for his murder, and I hope that today's outcome can give them some comfort knowing his killer will now be behind bars.

"The passage of time is never a barrier to ensuring that those who commit crime are brought to justice. Khan may have spent the last 40 years with what he did on his conscience however he now must face the stark reality and consequences of his actions."

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