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MOST WANTED THUG'S pounds 35K THREATS PLOT; Extortion crook behind bars.

Byline: VICTORIA WELDON

A THUG once branded Scotland's most wanted fugitive faces a lengthy jail term after trying to extort pounds 35,000 from a wealthy businessman.

Anthony Kearney and his henchmen tried to get lettings boss Vaseem Iqbal to hand over cash. The crook was later given a false alibi by a lawyer.

Kearney, 44, went on the run to Spain for three years and was on the Crimestoppers list of most sought-after suspects.

Last year, the Sunday Mail was on the scene as Spanish cops swooped on Kearney's Costa Blanca hideout.

He is now behind bars after being convicted at the High Court in Glasgow of attempted extortion. He was also found guilty of failing to turn up for a court date in 2006. Sentence was deferred until next month.

The trial heard Vaseem's Glasgow firm Lets Direct was torched, along with his car, in 2003. His brother Nadeem, 40, was told his throat would be cut unless Vaseem paid up.

The jury also heard from shamed lawyer Shahid Pervez, who was threatened into giving Kearney a false alibi. Pervez was jailed in 2007 for attempting to pervert the course of justice.

reporters@sundaymail.co.uk

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HUNT:Kearney was caught by police in Spain, right
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 23, 2009
Words:209
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