A husband accused of choking his wife to death has denied killing her after she asked for a divorce 20 years ago.
Zafar Iqbal, 61, allegedly strangled Naziat Khan, 38, with a scarf at their home in Norbury, southwest London, in August 2001.
Iqbal appeared in a prison tracksuit at the Old Bailey via video-link from HMP Wormwood Scrubs, where he denied murdering his wife.
After the alleged murder, Iqbal flew to Pakistan where he would remain for 20 years before he was extradited to the UK in September last year.
Iqbal is one of the first defendants to be extradited from Pakistan to the UK in the wake of improved relations between the two countries
Anthony Orchard, prosecuting, earlier told the court: ‘On Monday, 20 August 2001, shortly after 1pm in the afternoon, the defendant killed his wife.
‘He strangled her to death. ‘After killing his wife he…fled the UK to Pakistan.
‘The police were made aware the following day and the deceased was found at the address.
‘A post-mortem examination confirmed strangulation.
‘In relation to bail, the defendant fled to Pakistan and a first incident warrant was issued for his arrest in 2005.
‘After that, enquiries were made with the Pakistani authorities, because there was no formal extradition treaty with them, and an extradition warrant was issued which was executed in Pakistan finally in December 2017.
‘The defendant was remanded in custody in Pakistan and our understanding is that since that time he has fought against his extradition.
‘He was extradited to the UK on 14th September this year and arrested on his arrival.’
Iqbal will stand trial at the Old Bailey on December 5 this year.