International desk- A New York man arrested over killing of a Bangladesh-born Imam and his associate last month pleaded not guilty in court on Thursday.
New York’s media reported the prosecutors said that Oscar Morel, who has been facing first degree murder charge, declined that he was involved in the shooting a Muslim cleric and his associate.
Imam Akonjee, 55, and Thara Uddin, 64, were gunned down in the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens on August 13 in an attack that shook the area’s predominantly Bangladeshi community.
Authorities have not yet publicly identified a possible motive for the attack.
Morel’s lawyer, Michael Schwed, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Morel, who is being held without bail, is due back in Queens state court on October 18.
Akonjee, a father of seven, emigrated from Bangladesh several years ago and was described by community members as a humble and deeply religious man.
A Bangladeshi woman was knifed to death on Thursday by unidentified attacker. Police could not determine the motives behind the attack.