When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Nelson councillor denies involvement in Pakistan murder
A COUNCILLOR said to be wanted by police for questioning over a murder in Pakistan has denied any involvement.
Nelson councillor Abdul Aziz is named on a document as one of four men wanted for the murder of Muhammad Ilyas in the village of Domian, in the Gujrat district, on May 1, last year.
Coun Aziz has denied the allegation and is ‘determined to clear his name’.
He said: "I don’t know who has accused me or why I am named. It's the first time I have seen the document.
“This is an incident that has devastated my family.
“It can only be to stop me going back to Pakistan to see my family and to help out. People don’t realise that this is my family. It is my cousin who has died.
“In all my life I have never been in argument or aggressive. This has nothing to do with me.”
The document states the incident was an alleged ‘revenge’ killing.
It is alleged four men, armed with a 30 bore pistol and a 44 bore rifle, entered a house in Domian at around 5pm on May 1, and shot Mr Ilyas in the stomach and arm.
When Coun Aziz was shown the document this week he confirmed that he was aware there was an order for his arrest.
The Conservative group have now launched a ‘wide-ranging’ investigation into the allegations and say lawyers have confirmed that the document is genuine.
Coun Aziz was elected as a councillor for the Walverden ward just days after the killing last year as a Labour candidate, but in September this year he defected to join the Conservatives.
Labour group leader Coun Mohammed Iqbal said that Coun Aziz was suspended in May this year when the allegations came to light. However Coun Aziz claims he told Labour of the investigation in Pakistan when he was elected last year.
Coun Joe Cooney, the Conservative leader of Pendle Borough Council, said: “We are aware of the document and we are carrying out an investigation into it. Coun Aziz completely denies the allegation and is determined to clear his name.”
Coun Iqbal said that Coun Aziz should now be removed as a councillor.
He said: “I would question his decision to remain in this country whilst being wanted in Pakistan. He needs to be removed immediately from being a councillor and removed by the police to appear before the court.”