Abdus Samad murder: Victim’s grieving sister ‘will never accept’ violent Canonbury death
PUBLISHED: 16:50 15 July 2016 | UPDATED: 09:26 16 July 2016
The sister of Abdus “Kamal” Samad this afternoon said she will never be able to accept the “pure violence” of his murder in Canonbury in 1997.
Foyjur Rahman, 44, was today convicted by an Old Bailey jury and jailed for life. He must serve at least 18 years of his sentence.
On May 21, 1997, in Alwyne Villas, Rahman and Mohiuddin Bablu - who was convicted in 2012 - inflicted 18 wounds on 25-year-old Mr Samad with a meat cleaver and knife. A Whittington Hospital surgeon said the injuries were the “worst I’ve ever seen”.
Speaking exclusively to the Gazette, Mr Samad’s sister, Dr Halima Begum, said: “The most shocking aspect was the pure violence of this attack. I have never heard of it in my life, not even in a war. This was a public street in Islington and I will never be able to get my head around it.
“I have never grieved for Kamal because to grieve you need acceptance. I can’t accept how he died. I never will.”
The trial heard that as he was chased, one of Mr Samad’s final acts was to warn a woman in the street: “They want to kill me. Be careful.”
And Dr Begum, 42, said: “It means so much that right before he was murdered, he put someone else’s safety before his. It’s so honourable. He was honourable until his last moment.
“What I can live with is that my brother had his dignity right until the end.”
Mr Samad, a married father-of-two from Bethnal Green, was co-owner of the Curry in a Hurry takeaway in St Paul’s Road, Highbury.
He was killed after refusing to act as an intermediary in a feud between a Putney takeaway - which Rahman co-owned - and a group in Stoke Newington. Two days after the murder, Rahman flew to America and made a new life. He was extradited in January.
And Dr Begum said she will be “forever grateful” to the Met for sustaining its investigation over the past two decades.
“It’s been so long, but for us it’s like it happened yesterday. We had to keep our emotions together today.
“The police have done a fantastic job. Think of how complicated this was. Dealing with 19-year-old DNA. Maintaining resources for the investigation.
“But Det Sgt Nick Miller, who led the investigation has been so persistent. We couldn’t have asked for any more. They were never put off by the complexity.
“It’s satisfying because today proves the justice system works. You can’t just commit a crime like that and get away with it. That’s what they thought they had done. It gives you confidence in the system.
“We are a Banglasdeshi family and there are often cases where minorities feel mistreated by the justice system. But it was on our side.”
She finished: “We are a very close family. We all felt this tragedy. We held it together in court, even though it was so stressful going over it again and again.
“But we couldn’t allow Kamal to walk alone. We were going to be with him the whole way.”
Mr Samad’s daughters are now aged 22 and 19. Tahmin, who graduated from Queen Mary University of London, works for Oxfam, while her younger sister Tasmin is studying for a degree in biochemistry.
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