THE leader of an Asian gang who killed a schoolboy in a horrific race-hate murder has lost his bid for freedom, it was revealed yesterday.
Judges rejected an appeal that new evidence would clear Imran Shahid – known as Baldy – of the brutal killing of Kriss Donald in Glasgow.
And they called for an urgent probe as they felt the so-called evidence was “fabricated” as part of a plot to fool the Court of Criminal Appeal.
Kriss, 15, was snatched from the street in Pollokshields, Glasgow, in 2004 and bundled into a stolen car.
After a terror ride across Scotland, his captors hauled him from the car near Celtic Park, stabbed Kriss, doused him in petrol and set him alight.
Imran, 34, was said to have snatched the teenager just because he was white and Shahid wanted to avenge an earlier insult.
Shahid’s hopes of early freedom finally ended when appeal judges threw out the last of his challenges last month.
But a gagging order imposed during the appeal meant the judges’ rulings could not be reported until yesterday.
Shahid was jailed for life in 2006 and ordered to serve at least 25 years. His brother Zeeshan and Mohammed Faisal Mushtaq were also jailed for life for murder.
At an earlier trial – when Baldy was on the run in Pakistan – Daanish Zahid, 26, was convicted of murder and ordered to serve at least 17 years.
Imran Shahid went to the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh claiming that text messages on Zahid’s mobile phone – hidden in an attic for fear of reprisals – revealed the identity of the true killers.
The texts, supposed to have been keyed in by Zahid immediately after the murder, said he was forced to drive the car – and named the men he claimed were really responsible for the murder.
The phone was delivered to Shahid’s lawyers in Dundee by Zahid’s brother.
But appeal judges Lord Hamilton, sitting with Lords Reed and Emslie, became suspicious because the texts spelt Kriss’s unusual first name correctly – when Zahid claimed he did not know the youth.
Forensic experts who examined the phone also cast doubt on the story.
Lord Emslie said evidence from Zahid and other witnesses was “an elaborate and sophisticated attempt to deceive this court”.
He added: “We cannot guess as to who was responsible for the fabrication of mobile phone entries but in our view the matter is so serious as to merit the fullest and most urgent investigation.