Jury played recordings in Sheffield murder plot trial

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Recordings made in a bugged vehicle belonging to a murder plot suspect have been played to a jury.

Five men, including a dad from Sheffield, are accused of plotting to hire a hitman and gun down Zahid Rehman after a feud escalated out of control.

Wazeem Fazal, aged 31, of Slayleigh Lane, Fulwood, is accused along with four other men of arranging the murder, after Mr Rehman wrote to social services telling them Fazal was a drug dealer, a robber and a benefits cheat.

It is alleged Fazal planned to carry out the hit in Pakistan while Mr Rehman was there last September, so he would be out of the jurisdiction of UK authorities.

The jury at Sheffield Crown Court was read and played recordings of conversations between the accused.

Imran Shaukat, 33, was recorded during journeys he made to Manchester and Bradford to get a visa for a trip to Pakistan.

Peter Moulson QC, prosecuting, read extracts of conversations held while Shaukat and another of the accused, Fakhar Shah, 50, were in Bradford.

He said: “Shah said, ‘When you go to Pakistan you must donate to charity and sacrifice an animal for you and for him. When you are going to do bad things it is encouraged to do things to protect yourself’.”

The jury also heard that Fazal told police he intended to travel to Pakistan to visit his sick grandad, and asked what paperwork he needed to provide because of a court order he was subject to.

Shaukat is later recorded asking a doctor in Pakistan to send a falsified letter.

The jury has previously heard Fazal was the protagonist.

Shaukat, whose address was given as HMP Doncaster, is accused of encouraging and assisting him; Shah, of School Road, Beighton, of providing a link to a possible hitman; Syed Hussain, 43, of Ilford, Essex, of contacting people in Pakistan to assist with the killing, and Tariq Sarwar, 45, also of Ilford, of talking about hiring a hitman.

All five men conspiracy to murder.

The trial continues.