Jury hears closing speeches in fraud trial

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The jury in the trial of a Halifax man accused of fraud and causing grievous bodily harm has been hearing closing speeches in the case.

Mohammed Mahboob, 34, of Harvest Court, off Lister Lane, Halifax, is alleged to have swindled thousands of pounds from Gul Nawaz on the basis that he was acting as an intermediary for a firm of solicitors.

The prosecution has also accused Mahboob of luring Mr Nawaz to the Savile Moor area where he was attacked by two masked men and left taped to a goalpost.

Mahboob has denied a charge of defrauding Mr Nawaz and causing him grievous bodily harm in relation to his role in the attack which took place in October 2009.

Mr Nawaz, from Halifax, has alleged that he handed over more than £200,000 to Mahboob in the belief that his daughter’s divorce proceedings were being handled by the solicitors.

Following his arrest Mahboob said Mr Nawaz had lent him about £16,000, but he denied having any involvement in his daughter’s divorce case or taking money on behalf of any solicitors.

The defendant also denied any involvement in the attack on Mr Nawaz.

Mahboob has not given evidence at his trial, but today (Monday) his barrister Simon Myerson QC told the jury they could not be sure of his guilt.

“You may think you can’t convict in this case unless you believe Mr Gul Nawaz and our primary submission to you is that you can’t believe him,” said Mr Myerson.

He submitted that Mr Nawaz’s evidence was unreliable and virtually unbelievable as well as being self-contradictory.

The prosecution has alleged that payments were made to Mahboob by Mr Nawaz, but Mr Myerson pointed to evidence of money going into his client’s account from his work as a salesman.

“The prosecution case is that Mr Nawaz gave lots of money to Mr Mahboob,” said Mr Myerson.

“The money that Mr Mahboob has is the money in his bank account...if that money comes from IDC it can’t have come from Mr Nawaz.”

Mr Myerson criticised the investigation and handling of the case and suggested that the evidence put before the jury had been manipulated.

The trial continues.