Iraqi pair jailed for life for 'honour killing' of woman

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The Independent Online

Two men who were extradited to Britain after fleeing to Iraq when they executed a young woman in a so-called "honour killing" were jailed for life yesterday.

Mohammed Ali and Omar Hussain attacked and strangled Banaz Mahmod, of Mitcham, south London, in January 2006 on the orders of her father and uncle, the Old Bailey was told.

Ms Mahmod, described as a "loving and caring" woman, was murdered because she had fallen in love with a man disapproved of by her Kurdish family.

A few weeks before she was strangled, she named her killers in a letter handed to police. She wrote that Ali and Hussain were "ready and willing to do the job of killing me".

Judge Brian Barker, the Common Serjeant of London, told Ali he must serve at least 22 years in prison and Hussain that he would serve at least 21 years.

After the murder, the pair fled to Iraq where they believed they were safe from justice but were eventually arrested and returned to Britain to face trial.

Ms Mahmod's father, Mahmod Mahmod and brother, Ari, have already been jailed for life, as has Mohammad Hama, who helped Ali and Hussain kill the woman. The judge described the murder as an execution and told the pair: "You were willing and active participants in what was an agonising death and a deliberately disrespectful disposal.

"You are hard and callous men who were quite prepared to assist others in killing in the so-called name of honour, and who placed respect from the community above life, tolerance and understanding."