Weybread murder defendant claims he never used name of suspect

Image source, Diss Express
Image caption,
The body of Peter Stuart was found but his wife Sylvia remains missing

A man accused of the murder of a husband and wife has denied being in England or using the name of suspect Ali Qazimaj.

The defendant, who claims he is Vital Dapi, denies killing Peter and Sylvia Stuart, from Weybread, in Suffolk.

Mr Stuart, 75, was found stabbed to death last June, but the body of Mrs Stuart, 69, has never been found.

The defendant told Ipswich Crown Court he had not visited the UK before his arrest and extradition from Luxembourg.

On Thursday, under cross-examination, Karim Khalil QC asked him: "You are the man who was in England and using the name Ali Qazimaj?"

Image caption,
Police outside the Stuarts' home in Suffolk in June last year

The defendant - who prosecutors say is Ali Qazimaj - from Tilbury in Essex, denied he was.

Jurors were shown photographs, taken over several years, some of which the accused disputed were of him.

He rejected the claim that documents bearing the name Vital Dapi had been "overwritten" in places to change numbers, letters, names and dates.

He also denied he had travelled from Dover to Luxembourg, instead he insisted he was trafficked from Athens to Luxembourg, claiming he went through a number of other countries.

At an earlier hearing jurors learned a dispute about identification was "at the heart of this case".

The defendant says he is 44 years old and from the city of Elbasan in Albania.

Mr Stuart's body was found in shallow water in woodland near his home on 3 June.

The defendant, who says he had no prior knowledge of the couple, was arrested in Luxembourg on 17 June and extradited to the UK.

The trial continues.

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