Man in UK who murdered his wife claimed she left to return to Afghanistan

LONDON: A man in the UK found guilty of murdering his wife told police that she had left him for another man and planned to return to her native Afghanistan.

Zobaidah Salangy, 28, disappeared on March 28, 2020. Her body was found nearly six months later, buried in woodland near Bromsgrove in Worcestershire. Police were unable to determine the cause of death given the length of time the body had been buried. It was bound and wrapped it a duvet that matched pillows in the victim’s house.

Her husband, Nezam Salangy, 44, was convicted on Tuesday at Worcestershire Crown Court of her murder. His brothers, Mohammed Yasin, 34, and Mohammed Ramin Salangy, 31, were found guilty of helping to cover up the crime.

Salangy initially told police his wife “had gone out for a run and never come back.” He said she had left him for a “new boyfriend” and “intended to leave the UK — which she hated — and return to Afghanistan.”

But the prosecution, led by Simon Denison QC, told the court that the couple had “argued bitterly” the night before her disappearance. Salangy recorded some of the row on his phone and in the footage, Zobaidah was heard saying “keep filming for the eight years he is destroying my life.”

A black purse that belonged to her was later discovered hidden on shelves at her husband’s Prego Pizza restaurant in the town of Bromsgrove, where the couple lived, along with her phone, driver’s license and cash wrapped in bubble wrap. A second phone was also found, which Salangy used to make arrangements with his two brothers to conceal the murder. His fingerprints were found on the box containing both phones.

The court heard that Mohammed Ramin Salangy traveled more than 90 miles by taxi from Cardiff to help his brother conceal the body.

The prosecution said that police searching for Zobaidah began digging near the Worcestershire village of Lower Bentley in April 2020 but failed to find a body and abandoned the search. Officers who were “convinced she must be there” resumed the search in October and finally found her remains.

The jury heard that Zobaidah was a math teacher in her native Afghanistan before wedding her husband in 2012 in an arranged marriage and moving to the UK the following year. She had been taking English lessons at night school and planned either to resume her career as a teacher or become a midwife.

Denison said that what the brothers had done was “truly shocking and desperately sad.”

As he left the dock, Salangy, who will be sentenced with his brothers in June, told investigating police officers present in court “you guys framed me.”