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British Court Convicts Afghan Warlord

18 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A British court today convicted a former Afghan warlord of torture and hostage taking in his homeland. He is due to be sentenced tomorrow.

Prosecutors alleged that a private army loyal to Faryadi Zardad brutalized Afghans in the Sarobi area outside Kabul between 1991-96, before he was ousted by the Taliban.

Zardad, 42, denied the charges. He moved to Britain in 1998 and was running a pizza restaurant when he was arrested in 2002.

A jury failed to reach a verdict in an initial trial last year.

It was the first case in Britain to involve human rights violations committed abroad and to have witnesses give evidence anonymously via a satellite link.