A man has appeared in court accused of murdering a restaurant owner who was found dead at his north-east home nearly 40 years ago.
A huge police investigation was launched when Kazi Ahmad’s body was discovered at a flat in Aberdeen’s Rosemount Viaduct in 1978.
Nearly 38 years on, Riasat Khan was arrested in Birmingham in connection with the inquiry into the businessman’s death.
And yesterday the 62-year-old appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court accused of his murder.
Mr Ahmad was an owner of the Raj Dulal curry house in Dee Street and was found dead in his bedroom by his staff on October 15, 1978.
The two-bedroom flat he stayed in was also used to accommodate restaurant workers, and police said there were six people living there.
Mr Ahmad’s neighbours were alerted to the tragedy when they woke up to discover their tenement was the centre of intense police activity.
May Hogg, who was in her mid-20s at the time, lived on the same landing as Mr Ahmad’s flat.
At the time she described him as “quite a quiet bloke who “never said all that much” but “always spoke when you met him on the stairs”.
Mr Ahmad came to Britain from Bangladesh and worked in Perth before moving to Aberdeen in 1976 to open the Dee Street restaurant.
He moved to the UK in 1972, but his wife and family went back to Bangladesh.
Some time before he died, he had made the journey home to see his family and restaurant staff said he regularly sent money to them.
The restaurant owner won a substantial sum at a gambling club on the night he died, reported to be £1,000.
As news of his death swept through the Asian community in the city, friends and colleagues paid tribute to him.
Abdul Muslin, who worked for three months in the Raj Dulal, said:
“He was a very good and fair man. He was always laughing and joking with his staff and I am sure that he had no enemies.
“I can see no reason why anyone should want to kill him and everyone in and around all the Asian restaurants is shattered at the news.”
Miah Khurshid knew Mr Ahmad from Bangladesh and had worked for him for ten months when he died.
“He was a very fair person and very reliable,” he said.
“He liked to gamble and I believe he won about £1,000 at the Regency.”
Mr Khurshid worked at the Curry Centre in Bridge Street and said Mr Ahmad’s family stayed with him in Britain but returned to Bangladesh about two years before he died.
“He always sent money back to them and I think one of his three children is expecting a child,” he said at the time.
Mr Ahmad had also worked in London and South Shields before moving to the Granite City.
Grampian Police launched a full-scale murder inquiry and as forensic experts pieced-together information, the investigation expanded out of Aberdeen.
Officers with dogs searched the areas around the city-centre tenement, and almost immediately after Mr Ahmad’s body was discovered, a major incident room was set up the force’s Queen Street headquarters to co-ordinate inquiries.
A nationwide search for the killer was launched and police also appealed to passengers on an Aberdeen to Edinburgh train to come forward with information.
Police throughout Britain were helping Grampian officers and police also spoke to taxi drivers in their appeal for information.
Checks were also made at sea and airports.
Taxi drivers and train passengers came forward in response to the police pleas for information, but no arrests were made.
Yesterday, however, Police Scotland confirmed Riasat Khan had been arrested in the Birmingham area over the weekend.
He made a brief appearance in private on petition at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday charged with murder.
Khan was described by the Crown Office as having no fixed address.
He made no plea when he appeared before Sheriff Alison Stirling and was committed for further examination and remanded in custody.
He is expected to appear in court again next week.