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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 3, 2014

Brooklyn Man Convicted Of Conspiracy To Commit Honor Killings In Pakistan

The Defendant Orchestrated The Murders Of Family Members Of The Man Who Helped His Daughter Escape From Pakistan To The United States

Earlier today, a federal jury returned verdicts of guilty against Mohammad Ajmal Choudhry of conspiring to commit murder in a foreign country, transmitting threats via interstate communications, and immigration fraud. The verdict followed a nine-day trial at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York. The verdict was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, James T. Hayes, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York, and David Schnorbus, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office, U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service.

The evidence at trial established that the defendant’s daughter, Amina Ajmal, was held against her will in Pakistan for more than three years by relatives at her father’s direction. During that time, Ajmal, a U.S. citizen, was forced into an arranged marriage with a Pakistani national. Ajmal eventually escaped Pakistan and returned to the United States with the assistance of a Pakistani man and U.S. State Department officials. During subsequent recorded telephone calls between Ajmal and the defendant, the defendant threatened to orchestrate the murder of the man who helped Ajmal flee if Ajmal, whose whereabouts remained unknown to the defendant, did not return immediately to the family home in Brooklyn. On February 25, 2013, after Ajmal refused to return home, the father and sister of the man who helped Ajmal flee were shot and killed in Pakistan. According to eyewitnesses, the defendant’s brother and other relatives were observed standing over the victims, holding guns, and desecrating the bodies.

“Choudhry placed himself and his honor above the lives of anyone who dared to thwart his plans. From the front seat of his yellow taxicab as he drove the streets of New York City, the defendant planned, directed, and executed the murders of family members of the man who offended his honor by helping his daughter leave Pakistan,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “A clash of cultures can never be resolved with murder.” Ms. Lynch expressed her grateful appreciation to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, and the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, which worked closely together to investigate the case.

At sentencing, the defendant faces up to life imprisonment.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Amanda Hector, Richard M. Tucker, and Margaret E. Gandy.

The Defendant:

MOHAMMAD AJMAL CHOUDHRY

Age: 61

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 13 CR 150 (WFK)

Updated July 6, 2015