PORTLAND (AP) – A Standish insurance agent testified Friday that he did not kill the woman he is charged with murdering, but said he witnessed the killing.

Santanu “Sam” Basu, 34, told jurors that he and Azita Jamshab, whose body was found near a Cumberland gravel pit in March 2002, were kidnapped at gunpoint by Jamshab’s jealous lover, who then fatally shot her.

Basu said he and Jamshab had arranged to go out to dinner to discuss her life insurance policy. When he went to pick her up, they were confronted by her lover, Amhad “Kojie” Khojaspehzad, he said.

Basu said Khojaspehzad forced them to drive to a take-out Indian restaurant and then to the gravel pit. That is where Kohaspehzad shot her four times, Basu said.

He said he didn’t speak up because he was scared.

“I was told not to mention anything about him or my family would get the same thing,” Basu said.

Prosecutors say Basu killed Jamshab to collect on a $100,000 life insurance policy that named him as the beneficiary. The trial in Cumberland County Superior Court will continue Monday.

Police have testified they found Jamshab’s blood in the car that Basu rented the day of the killing.

They also said they found a “to-do list” with Basu’s fingerprints listing various errands to do the day of the murder, such as getting a car rental, ammunition, gloves, a pillow and garbage bags.

A friend of Basu, Dexter Flemming, has also testified that Basu asked him to be his alibi for that night, but later confessed to the murder. Basu on Friday told jurors that he told Flemming he killed Jamshab because he was scared of Kohaspehzad.

AP-ES-09-26-03 1835EDT



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