Trial opens in Pakistan over rape and murder of Dubai-based woman

ISLAMABAD // The trial against the father and ex-husband of a Dubai-based British woman over her alleged rape and murder opened at a court in Pakistan on Tuesday. The court delivered copies of the charge sheet to father Mohammed Shahid and ex-husband Mohammed Shakeel, defence lawyer Mohammed Arif said. Shahid and Shakeel are accused of […]

ISLAMABAD // The trial against the father and ex-husband of a Dubai-based British woman over her alleged rape and murder opened at a court in Pakistan on Tuesday.

The court delivered copies of the charge sheet to father Mohammed Shahid and ex-husband Mohammed Shakeel, defence lawyer Mohammed Arif said.

Shahid and Shakeel are accused of strangling Samia Shahid, 28, in a so-called “honour killing”. They must decide before Judge Ambreen Qureshi by October 7 if they plead guilty or not guilty, Mr Arif said. He said both men were present in the court.

After he appeared at a pretrial hearing last week, father Mohammad Shahid spoke to reporters outside the courtroom denying all charges.

“We will contest the case,” Mr Arif said Tuesday, suggesting the accused may plead not guilty.

Samia Shahid’s family had initially claimed she had died of natural causes during her July trip to Pakistan. But after her second husband Mukhtar Kazim complained to police, they reopened the case.

A police investigation concluded that Samia’s ex-husband raped her as the father stood guard before they both strangled her. It described the killing as “premeditated, cold-blooded murder”.

The investigation also implicated the victim’s mother, Imtiaz Bibi, and sister, Madiha Shahid, who are British nationals, in the murder.

It accused them of luring the victim into the murder plot. It said both women escaped back to England after the murder, and suggested they should be extradited to Pakistan to be tried on abetment charges.

Samia married her first husband in February 2012 but stayed only briefly in Pakistan before returning to England where she obtained a divorce two years later. After that, she married her second husband, Mukhtar Kazim, and moved to Dubai with him.

Her family never accepted the second marriage, because Mr Kazim is a Shiite Muslim and not a relative, the police report said.

Pakistan reports nearly 1,000 “honour killings” every year.

* Associated Press

Source: uae news

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