Prosecution presents 12 reasons to convict accused murderer
MOHAMMED Khan would have had to have been naked, or have had a second set of clothes, to have been the killer the crown prosecutor claimed he was, Mr Khan’s defence team said on Monday.
Defence barrister Andrew Hoare put this scenario to the jury during his closing address of the murder trial in the Supreme Court at Rockhampton.
Mr Khan is accused of murdering and beheading his friend Syeid Alam on the banks of the Fitzroy River on April 5, 2016. He pleaded not guilty to the charge.
After a week of evidence presented to the jury, both crown prosecutor Joshua Phillips and Mr Hoare gave their closing addresses yesterday.
Mr Phillips took the jury through three tables created by the crown team – one which outlined the crown’s 12 reasons Mr Khan should be found guilty, one of the crown’s alleged timelines and one of the crown’s suggested nine best defences with counterpoints.
“This is a circumstantial case,” he said.
However, Mr Phillips said it was the “combined strength of all the evidence that places you in one direction … that there’s only one explanation … that Mohammed Khan is the killer.”
Mr Phillips said the evidence pointed to Mr Khan being in the ‘kill zone’ at the time of the murder.
The court heard the ‘evidence’ included CCTV capturing a vehicle which looked like Mr Khan’s travelling along Lakes Creek Rd towards the river at the time it was believed Syeid was murdered, phone call logs on Mr Khan’s phone deleted, Mr Khan’s wife’s affair with Syeid’s brother Sha Alam Sha Alam, Mr Khan’s phone being detected by cell towers in the area of the ‘kill zone’ and that Syeid told his wife he was going fishing with Mr Khan that night.
Mr Phillips, while going through the crown’s 12 reasons why, said Mr Khan’s motive was linked to nude photographs of Mr Khan’s wife, Suparti Suparti, that Mr Khan believed Syeid had accessed.
Mr Phillips also alleged while Mr Khan could not physically access Sha Alam as he lived in Sydney, but he could get to that man’s older brother – Syeid Alam – whom he worked with at a Rockhampton meatworks, gambled with, socialised with and regularly went fishing with.
Mr Hoare said the crown’s case had ‘holes’ in it.
“There is absolutely no evidence that at any time after the disclosure of the affair they ceased to be friends,” he said.
“The crown is unable to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Mr Hoare said Mr Khan’s wife, Suparti, testified that she broke off the affair with Sha Alam about February 12-14, 2016, after her husband asked her questions about it.
He said other witnesses testified Syeid was at Mr Khan’s house on the Sunday before he went missing and they were observed to still be friends.
“The crown wants you to believe beyond a reasonable doubt that Mohammed Khan killed his friend (two days later),” Mr Hoare said.
He said the crown’s timeline gave a 43 minute window for the accused to drive to McAlister St, kill and behead his friend and drive home where he stays for about 15 minutes before driving off with his housemate to another friend’s place in Fitzroy St.
Mr Hoare said the forensic pathologist’s evidence on Friday was that there was no way to avoid the blood splatter that comes from cutting the arteries in the neck or beheading – that it was going to “spurt” from these vessels but the direction and distance depended on the environment and other factors.
The court heard there was no forensic evidence linking Mr Khan to Syeid’s murder, despite the use of a forensic test that picks up minuscule amounts of blood in areas that have been cleaned – the dilution reach being 1: 100,000 – being used by scenes of crime officers.
“The crown says he (Mr Khan) cleaned his vehicle,” Mr Hoare said.
“When did he do that in the 43 minutes?
“Blood hasn’t been found … because he isn’t the killer.
“There must have been a change of clothes … or is he meant to have killed him in the nude?
“Then he’s swimming in the Fitzroy River covered in blood.
“There’s no towel … no soap.”
He said the second crimes of scenes officer testified there was mud and dirt in the footwells of Mr Khan’s black Jeep.
“So it was not cleaned,” Mr Hoare said.
“It simply wasn’t him.”
Mr Hoare also pointed to evidence of Syeid’s belongings that were left along the river bank which included bank cards and identification from his wallet, and a key ring with no keys.
He said Syeid’s wife Ferdous Ferdous testified that they kept their money in the house, but not in a safe box.
Mr Hoare said Ferdous told the court Syeid told her in December he had lost $20,000 to $30,000 gambling and could no longer support her and the children so she had to go to the Red Cross for aid.
He said the court had heard evidence that by April, Ferdous went to Sydney with $66,000.
“You know Syeid had to have another source of income to go gambling on Saturday night because the evidence of Ferdous was that she did not give him any money,” Mr Hoare said.
He pointed to the evidence last week where the jury heard from an expert about the phone being detected by the cell tower’s and that the towers can pick up mobile phones up to 10 kilometres away.
Mr Hoare also pointed out the CCTV footage of a car that looked like his clients was in black and white, and grainy, and it was not possible to ascertain what make and model, or colour, any vehicle was in the footage.
Justice Graeme Crow is expected to give a summing up and directions to the jury tomorrow morning before the jury retires to deliberate about lunch time.
Crown’s 12 reasons to convict Mohammed Khan of Syeid Alam’s murder
1. The deceased told his wife Ferdous Ferdous and friend Nor Alam that he was going fishing with Mohammed Khan.
2. The deceased’s car was located nearby.
3. The defendant called the deceased at 6.35pm on April 5, 2016.
4. The defendant was absent from home at the time of killing.
5. The defendant was allegedly headed towards the river when he left in his car.
6. CCTV footage shows the defendant driving along Dean St towards the barrage at 6.54pm and returning along Dean St at 8.03pm
7. It is highly probable Mr Khan’s mobile phone was in the cell coverage area where the murder took place between 7.08pm and 7.51pm
8. Deletion of call logs on Mr Khan’s phone to the deceased’s, which Crown alleges was an attempt to obscure contact.
9. Motive includes the deceased having access to nude photographs of Mr Khan’s wife, Suparti Suparti.
10. The deceased raised the affair/photo with the defendant.
11. The Crown alleges the defendant knew/suspected affair went beyond just the photo as he inquired about videoed sex.
12. The defendant allegedly made a violence threat towards the man his wife had an affair with at the mosque.