Ali Naseem Bajwa QC represents young man acquitted of double murder at the Old Bailey

Monday 12 July 2021

Ali Naseem Bajwa QC, a member of the Garden Court Chambers Criminal Defence Team was instructed by Sinead Zaman of Powell Spencer Solicitors. 

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Ali Naseem Bajwa QC, leading Eva Niculiu of Three Raymond Buildings, represented Bobby Rogers, at the relevant time an 18-year old boy, in a three-defendant double murder trial at the Old Bailey.

The case concerned a dispute between two drug dealers, Besnik Berisha and Shkelqim Paja. Shortly after 20:00 on 19 December 2019, Berisha drove his van into Courtland Avenue in Barnet, where Paja and an associate Arber Fesko were waiting for him. Berisha had with him four people: Kiziku Tuwizana in the front passenger seat and three 18-year-olds (including Rogers) in the back.

Within 3 or 4 minutes of Berisha’s van arriving in Courtland Avenue, Fesko and Paja were dead; Fesko had been stabbed 14 times and Paja 28 times. Fesko’s body was bundled into the boot of Paja’s vehicle and driven away by Tuwizana. Very shortly thereafter, Paja’s body was bundled into the van and driven away by Berisha and the three 18-year-olds.

Tuwizana was forced to stop his car in order to seek medical help for a serious wound to his arm, whereupon the police discovered Fesko’s body in the boot. Meanwhile, the occupants of the van dumped Paja’s body in undergrowth beside a country lane, where a jogger found it the next day. Rogers’ DNA was recovered from a cable tie binding Paja’s wrists and Rogers' baseball cap heavily stained with Paja’s blood was found close to the body.

The Crown’s case was that Berisha, Tuwizana and Rogers had planned and committed the murders together acting as a team. Berisha and Tuwizana blamed Rogers and the other two 18-year-olds. The case advanced on behalf of Rogers was that Berisha and Tuwizana alone had committed the murders.

Rogers’ case involved the careful analysis and reconstruction of events using the circumstantial evidence, including that of eyewitnesses, DNA, pathology, CCTV/ANPR cameras, and mobile phone usage/movement.

After an eight-week trial and a day of deliberations, the jury unanimously convicted Tuwizana and Berisha of both murders and acquitted Rogers of all charges.

The case was reported by the Times and the BBC.  

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