The general secretary of an independence movement helped to plan the kidnapping and cold blooded execution of a Birmingham-based Indian diplomat, the city's crown court was told.
Mohammed Mirza fled abroad following the "act of terrorism" over 20 years ago and was only brought back to the UK to face trial following a minor breach of immigration rules, the court heard.
Mirza (50), formerly of Naseby Road, Alum Rock, has denied charges of murder, kidnap and false imprisonment.
William Davis QC, prosecuting, said in February 1984 Ravinder Mhatre, who had been posted to the High Commission in Birmingham, was kidnapped as he was on his way to his home in Bartley Green by a number of men calling themselves the Kashmiri Liberation Army.
He was eventually taken to a remote area in Leicestershire and shot.
Mr Davis said those responsible wanted independence for the state of Kashmir from India and had sent ransom notes to newspapers and news agencies in London threatening to execute Mr Mhatre.
Two men who had acted as Mr Mhatre's guards and had gone to the place where he was executed were convicted of murder while others were also found guilty of playing their roles in the plot.
Mirza, he said, was a leading figure in an organisation, which had offices in Birmingham, called the Jammu Kashmiri Liberation Front, and had been involved in the planning and execution of the killing.
"He was not tried because we say having realised that the police were on to him he fled the country."
But he said two years ago he came to the attention of the American authorities due to a minor infringement of immigration rules who then discovered he was wanted in the UK. The trial continues.