Jury in Hartlepool shotgun murder trial retires to consider verdicts
The jury in the murder trial of a drug dealer shot and killed in a Hartlepool house has retired to consider its verdicts.
Four men have been on trial at Teesside Crown Court for more than two months accused of being part of the murder of reputed cannabis dealer Hamawand Ali Hussain.
His body was found inside an empty house in Charterhouse Street, off Oxford Road, in September 2019.
Prosecutors allege a group of Albanian drug dealers lured Mr Hussain, 30, to the house on the pretext of wanting to use it for a cannabis farm and killed him following a dispute.
The trial has heard evidence that Mr Hussain was shot in the head at point-blank range and may also have been attacked with an axe which was left behind at the scene.
The men on trial are Noza Saffari, 39, of Park Lane, Middlesbrough, who is Iranian of Kurdish origin, and Albanians Anxhelo Xhaferi, 24, of Acton Street, Middlesbrough; Dorian Pirija, 33, of Trillo Avenue, Bolton; and Qazim Marku, 24, of Maxwell Road, West Drayton, London.
A number of other suspects have never been traced or brought to trial.
The jury retired on the morning of Monday, March 22, and has not yet returned any verdicts.
They all deny murder and during the trial told the jury that they were unaware of or played no part in any plan to kill or hurt Mr Hussain.