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Indian cabbie in New Zealand jailed for five years

Bhikubhai Patel was jailed for trying to organise the murder of a Hindu priest.

india Updated: Apr 04, 2007 13:12 IST

An Indian taxi driver in New Zealand, found guilty last month of planning to kill a Hindu priest, has been jailed for five years.

Bhikubhai Patel, 50, appeared at the high court here on Monday after trying to organise the murder of Hindu priest Sunil Sharda in 2004 and threatening to kill his own wife because he suspected the two were having an affair.

Patel gave a $1,500 contract to kill Sunil Sharda, but the plan fell apart only because he unwittingly approached a police informant to do the job.

When the police informant found that Patel might be serious, he told the authorities.

Justice Geoffrey Venning found that Patel's 'obsessive jealousy' led him to try to put a contract out on the life of Sharda, the New Zealand Herald reported.

In sentencing, Venning said Patel had refused to accept responsibility for his actions despite the hitman he approached being a police informant.

The court also found that there was no sexual relationship and the only contact the pair had was coffee together twice.

Prior to hatching the plot to kill Sharda, Patel hired a private investigator in 2004 to follow and report everything about his wife and the Hindu priest.

First Published: Apr 04, 2007 13:00 IST