JURORS in the Birkby fire trial have been warned that motive is less important than factual evidence when deciding their verdict.
Mr Justice Andrew Smith was making his comments during the closing stages of his summing up at Leeds Crown Court yesterday.
Nazar Hussain, Shakiel Shazad and Shaied Iqbal are charged with murder- ing eight members of the Chisti family at their home in Osborne Road in the early hours of May 12 last year.
They also face charges of conspiring to commit arson with intent to endanger life and conspiring to damage cars by arson.
Anwar Hussain faces only the arson charge relating to cars.
The judge outlined two possible motives for the attack at the house.
But he told the jury: "You don't necessarily have to determine what might or might not have been the motive for the attack. You decide if the prosecution have made you sure of the guilt of any of the defendants."
He said the first motive was that fire victim Mohammed Ateeq ur-Rehman, 18, knew his friend Saud eloped to Newcastle to marry Shahida Younis - against the wishes of her family, especially her brother Shahid Mohammed, who is missing.
Shaied Iqbal, his brother Zahid, Shahid Mohammed, his brothers Zahid Hasan and Amjad Hasan and Mohammed Arif Siddiq were convicted of violent disorder, forcibly bringing Shahida back from Newcastle in December 2001.
Ateeq's home was visited months before the fire by two Asian men, one was looking for his sister. On hearing he knew nothing, they said: "You don't know what we are capable of."
A friend of Ateeq also had a visit from Shahid Mohammed and another man, asking about Shahida. Shahid threatened to kill anyone who withheld information.
Witness Kadir Hussain had said Iqbal asked him where Ateeq lived and days before the fire attack arranged for Kadir to lure him out of college to be attacked by Shahida's three brothers.
But Iqbal alleged Kadir was lying and was motivated by jealousy of Iqbal's relationship with Mobeen Mumtaz, said the judge.
The judge said Mobeen could be the second motive. Ateeq found out about the relationship from Mobeen's friend and it got back to Mobeen's angry father. But Iqbal denied he was concerned about Mobeen's parents finding out and they learnt of it only after the fire.
FOUR men are on trial at Leeds Crown Court:
* Shaied Iqbal, 26, of Springdale Road, Thornton Lodge, denies eight charges of murder, conspiracy to commit arson with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to commit arson to motor vehicles. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit criminal damage to motor vehicles.
* Shakiel Shazad, 23, of Gledholt Road, Gledholt, denies eight counts of murder and conspiracy to commit arson. He pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit criminal damage to motor vehicles, but guilty to conspiracy to commit arson to motor vehicles.
* Nazar Hussain, 24, of Dryclough Road, Crosland Moor, denies eight counts of murder and conspiracy to commit criminal damage to motor vehicles. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson to motor vehicles.
* Anwar Hussain, 22, of Dryclough Road, Crosland Moor, denies conspiracy to commit arson to cars.
The fire claimed the lives of eight people at their home in Osborne Road, Birkby. The victims were: Mrs Zaib-u-Nisa, 54; her son, Ateeq, 18; her daughter, Mrs Nafeesa Aziz, 35; and her five grand-daughters - Tayyaba, 13, Rabiah, 10, Ateeqa, six, Aneesa, two, and Najeeba, six months.