Friend gets death in Riyadh murder case

Updated 13 November 2013
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Friend gets death in Riyadh murder case

An Indian court Tuesday awarded death to a man who killed his Riyadh-based friend and business associate in July 2011.
The Body parts of Salim, 44, was cut into 16 pieces and buried in a garbage dump in his courtyard, packed in nine plastic bags, were recovered by police 12 days after the brutal murder, hatched in the Saudi capital by Sharif, 41, and his accomplice six months in advance and carefully executed.
The Principal Sessions Court here also handed down life imprisonment to his associate Sanofar, 41. He was also ordered to pay a compensation of one million rupees to the family of Salim, whom Sharif owed Rs 24.4 million.
The dismembered body of Salim was found buried in the courtyard of Sharif’s rented house at Varkala, some 50 km from here, at the end of an intensive search after his car and cellphone was found abandoned.
On July 21, police arrested Sharif, who had returned from the Kingdom before Salim arrived and reported missing by his family.
Sanofar was brought from Riyadh after Sharif confessed to his role in the gruesome murder. He was coaxed to come home using his relatives and they picked him up from the airport.
Police detected Sanofar’s role from the call that Sherif had made to him from his cellphone immediately after the murder. Both were roommates in Riyadh and they were Saleem’s associates in his moneylending business targeting Indian expats.
The duo used to take money from Salim at low interest rates and lend it at a higher cost, a business that is illegal in the Kingdom. They decided to murder Salim after both had agreed to share the immense assets of Salim. They schemed the murder after extracting maximum money from him.
According to the prosecution, they invested the money in landed properties. Sherif was working as a driver in the Saudi capital, besides the illegal business of money laundering.
The original idea to kill Saleem was mooted by Sanofar and Sherif agreed to kill him in Riyadh itself and dump parts of the body in several locations there. But Sanofar discouraged him saying it was dangerous as Saudi law was tough and warned him that they would be beheaded if caught. Then they finalized a detailed ‘work plan’ to kill him in India. They also decided not to involve anyone else to avoid sharing the money. It was also decided to drug him before the murder as Sherif was not strong enough to overpower Saleem.
Sanofar also played a role in bringing Saleem to Sherif’s rented house taking advantage of his ‘weakness’ for wine and women. Saleem parked his car in another place and reached the house in Sherif’s car, which was also borrowed from another person. Sherif served Salim alcoholic beer mixed with sedatives and smashed his head with a machete before cutting him into pieces in his bathroom using a knife brought from abroad. He rang up Sanofar once the ‘job’ was done, giving a lead to the police to nail Sanofar. Sherif was initially insisting that he did the crime on his own.

Sherif also sent his wife and children to her house saying he wanted to clean up the place and the septic tank. When they returned the place was clean and nothing was there to be suspicious about. The police, who recovered the car and cellphone of Saleem from a nearby area, just registered a man missing case. It was also suspected that he was abducted by a gang demanding money but nothing was heard about him since.
The police traced the calls registered on the cellphone and Shareef was under the scanner. He admitted to have killed his friend after prolonged interrogations.
The investigation also revealed the extent of illegal money lending business among the expatriates with the loans pledging their passports as collateral. Sherif used copies of passports of two of his clients to forge an identity document for taking a cellphone connection from a local vendor here. The passport copy that he submitted contained photograph of a Bangladeshi and the number of the passport was traced to a resident of Kannur in Kerala employed in Riyadh who told the police that he had given his passport as collateral to Sherif from whom he had borrowed money.


Leaders of two Koreas hold surprise meeting as Trump revives summit hopes

Updated 27 May 2018
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Leaders of two Koreas hold surprise meeting as Trump revives summit hopes

SEOUL/WASHINGTON: South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a surprise meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Saturday in an effort to ensure that a high-stakes summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump takes place successfully, South Korean officials said.
The meeting was the latest dramatic turn in a week of diplomatic flip-flops surrounding the prospects for an unprecedented summit between the United States and North Korea, and the strongest sign yet that the two Korean leaders are trying to keep the on-again off-again summit on track.
Their two hours of talks at the Panmunjom border village came a month after they held the first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade at the same venue. At that meeting, they declared they would work toward a nuclear-free Korean peninsula and a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War.
“The two leaders candidly exchanged views about making the North Korea-US summit a successful one and about implementing the Panmunjom Declaration,” South Korea’s presidential spokesman said in a statement. He did not confirm how the meeting was arranged or which side asked for it.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment. But White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said an advance team of White House and US State Department officials would leave for Singapore on schedule this weekend to prepare for a possible summit there.
Reuters reported earlier this week that a US advance team was scheduled to discuss the agenda and logistics for the summit with North Korean officials.
“There is a very strong possibility a US-North Korea summit could be back on very soon,” said Harry Kazianis of the conservative Center for the National Interest think-tank in Washington.
Whether one takes place depends on Kim agreeing to some sort of a realistic and verifiable denuclearization plan, added Kazianis, citing his own Trump administration sources. “If not, no summit. That is what it hinges on,” he said.
TRUMP HAILS “PRODUCTIVE TALKS“
In a letter to Kim on Thursday, Trump had said he was canceling the summit planned for June 12 in Singapore, citing North Korea’s “open hostility.”
But on Friday he indicated the meeting could be salvaged after welcoming a conciliatory statement from Pyongyang.
“We’re talking to them now. They very much want to do it. We’d like to do it,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
In a tweet later, Trump cited “very productive talks” and said that if the summit were reinstated it would likely remain in Singapore on June 12, and that it could be extended if necessary.
A senior White House official told reporters on Thursday that organizing a summit by June 12 could be a challenge, given the amount of dialogue needed to ensure a clear agenda.
“And June 12 is in ... 10 minutes,” the official said.
If the summit is not held, some analysts warn that the prospect of a military confrontation between the two nations would rise, while a successful summit would mark Trump’s biggest foreign policy achievement.
The Trump administration is demanding that North Korea completely and irreversibly shutter its nuclear weapons program. Kim and Trump’s initial decision to meet followed months of war threats and insults between the leaders over the program.
Pyongyang has conducted six nuclear tests, and has developed a long-range missile that could theoretically hit anywhere in the United States. Experts, however, are doubtful that North Korea possesses a warhead capable of surviving the stresses of re-entering Earth’s atmosphere.
Video and a photo released by South Korea’s presidential Blue House on Saturday showed Kim hugging Moon and kissing him on the cheek three times as he saw Moon off after their meeting at Tongilgak, the North’s building in the truce village, which lies in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) — the 2.5-mile (4 km) wide buffer that runs along the heavily armed military border.
Video footage also showed Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, greeting Moon as he arrived at Tongilgak and shaking hands, before the South Korean leader entered the building flanked by North Korean military guards.
Moon is the only South Korean leader to have met a North Korean leader twice, both times in the DMZ, which is a symbol of the unending hostilities between the nations after the Korean War ended in 1953 in a truce, not a peace treaty.