FOUR men have gone on trial charged with the murder of a former Kurdish army sniper.

Hemwand Ali Hussain was found dead in a property on Charterhouse Street, Hartlepool, after suffering a gunshot wound on September 14, 2019.

The father-of two moved to the UK in the early 2000s but returned to his homeland to fight against the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) for a period of time before his death.

Anxelo Xhaferi, Noza Saffari, Dorian Pirija and Qazim Marku were charged with his murder and will be on trial at Teesside Crown Court in Middlesbrough for between six and eight weeks.

The jury was sworn in yesterday afternoon and they are expected to hear the prosecution's case being opened this morning by Francis Fitzgibbon QC.

Xhaferi, 24, of Acton Street, Middlesbrough; Saffari, 39, of Park Lane, Middlesbrough; 33-year-old Pirija, of Trillo Avenue, Bolton; and Qazim Marku, 24, of West Drayton, all deny murder.