Source AP ©

US woman defends boyfriend accused of plot to kill her

A woman who prosecutors say was targeted for death by her police officer boyfriend testified in his defense, and said despite a court-imposed order of protection she continues to visit him and is working to have him vindicated.

"Because I love him," Sherry Nohar said Wednesday of her motivation to defend Kabeer Din, a former Baltimore police officer and New York Police Department recruit who was arrested last summer after meeting with an undercover police officer he thought was a hit man to discuss killing Nohar for $3,000 (EUR2,250).

Nohar said she has attended Din's trial in Suffolk County Court "to make sure he knows that I'm here for him and of course that I love him."

Din, 22, is charged with conspiracy to murder and could be sentenced to 8 to 25 years in prison if convicted. He wanted his girlfriend killed because she didn't want to marry him and he feared she would "report something that would be damaging to him" to the NYPD, Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Scileppi said.

Din, a U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, was ordered to stay away from Nohar after he was arrested, but Nohar testified Wednesday that she continues to visit and speak with him while he is free on bail.

"We're still boyfriend and girlfriend," said Nohar, 24.

When asked about the order of protection issued in the case, Nohar got cagey: "It says he can't see me. It didn't say I couldn't see him."

Din was secretly recorded discussing Nohar's killing with undercover officers, first with the NYPD and then with Suffolk police, prosecutors said. He is suspected of first telling an NYPD probationary officer he befriended while riding a commuter train to their academy training in Manhattan. That officer told superiors, who then equipped the officer with a recording device.

Din was arrested in July 31 in the parking lot of a shopping center after giving the undercover Suffolk officer a photograph of the woman and $200 in cash and his credit card as a down payment on the hit, prosecutors said.

Nohar said Wednesday that when she heard Din's disparaging remarks she laughed.

"I wasn't afraid of him," she said, nearly giggling at times on the witness stand. "I know his character, and that's not him."

When the prosecutor questioned her, she reluctantly conceded that the couple had been fighting in the days before Din's arrest.