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How 'honour' killers of Banaz Mahmod were caught

Image caption Banaz Mahmod's body was put in a suitcase and buried in Birmingham

Two cousins have been jailed for life for murdering a relative because her family did not approve of her boyfriend.

They were the fourth and fifth men to be convicted of the killing, but at first it seemed they had escaped justice.

Banaz Mahmod's fate was sealed when she fell in love with a man who her family disapproved of.

The 20-year-old Iraqi Kurd from Mitcham, south London, seemed to know her life was in danger.

Weeks before she died, she gave police a letter naming as men who were "ready and willing to do the job of killing me".

Then, in January 2006, she was assaulted and strangled, with her body buried in a suitcase.

Ali and Hussain carried out the attack with a third man, Mohammad Hama, who was convicted in 2007 along with Banaz's father and uncle.

But Ali and Hussain fled to northern Iraq homeland which did not have an extradition treaty with the UK. It was feared they would not return.

'Absolute menace'

Ali's journey back to London began when he was arrested in Sulaimaniya in Iraqi Kurdistan after killing a teenage boy in a hit-and-run motorbike accident.

Women's groups there knew he was sought in the UK and told Iraqi authorities.

Image caption Mohammed Ali and Omar Hussain fled to Iraq after murdering Banaz Mahmod but were later extradited

In October 2007 Scotland Yard was told by the FBI that he was in custody, with lawyers suggesting it might be possible to get around the lack of an extradition treaty.

The Crown Prosecution Service began a campaign to bring him back, which was ultimately successful and Ali arrived back in the UK in June 2009.

Meanwhile Hussain was being hidden by his two brothers in a remote area of Iraq, where he was suspected of several murders and smuggling, with police calling him an "absolute menace".

But after he fell out with them and was shot in the leg by one of his brothers, he appeared at an extradition hearing.

'Barbaric crime'

Hussain claimed he had not been in the UK when Banaz was murdered and said it was a case of mistaken identity.

A senior Met officer, Det Ch Insp Caroline Goode, flew to Iraq to contradict his claims in court by producing benefits records and a photograph from his arrest over a traffic offence.

He was extradited in March and then complained about the NHS treatment for his wounded leg, trying to jump the queue for surgery.

Both men have been jailed for life for what Judge Brian Barker called "a barbaric and callous crime".

Ali was told to serve at least 22 years, while Hussain received a minimum term of 21 years.

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