Abdus Samad murder trial: ‘I had no reason to attack him’

Abdus Samad, 25, was married and had two daughters

Abdus Samad, 25, was married and had two daughters - Credit: Archant

A man accused of the brutal 1997 murder of Absus Samad in Canonbury today insisted: “I have never been involved in crime.”

It came after the Old Bailey heard DNA strands from defendant Foyjur Rahman’s saliva were found in one of the makeshift masks left at the scene.

Mr Samad was stabbed and chopped to death with a meat cleaver and knife by two men on May 21, 1997.

The attack is said to have been motivated by Mr Samad’s refusal to act as an intermediary in a feud between Rahman’s Putney takeaway and a group in Stoke Newington.

In a tense exchange under cross-examination by prosecutor Mark Ellison, Rahman claimed: “They [the attackers] were using my restaurant and I wasn’t able to do anything. I had no power. They would harm me. But if I knew they wanted to kill someone that night, maybe I would have said something.”

Referring to the saliva sample, 44-year-old Rahman said: “One of them put the mask on me. It was horseplay, as in: ‘Let’s see what it looks like on you.’”

But Mr Ellison countered: “The truth is, you were one of the attackers.”

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Rahman responded: “I had no reason to attack Kamal [Mr Samad], just like he had no reason to attack me.”

Mr Ellison reminded the court Rahman flew to America on May 23, going on to make a new life for himself. He was extradited in January, but briefly returned to the UK in 2005 when his father died.

Mr Ellison asked: “You must have thought you got away with it?” Rahman: “If I was running away, I would not have come back in 2005.”

Mr Ellison: “How did you travel to the UK?”

Rahman: “I couldn’t get a flight to Heathrow, so I flew to Paris and came to the UK via Eurotunnel.”

“So you didn’t go through airport security,” Mr Ellison pointed out.

He continued: “We will hear from a number of people from America who speak very highly of you: that you were a good man, a good neighbour. You put this incident behind you.”

Rahman: “I have never been involved in any crime in my life.”

But Mr Ellison said: “I would suggest the past has caught up with you.”

The trial continues.