Dubai-based woman’s murder case postponed in Pakistan
JHELUM, Pakistan // The hearing of the ex-husband and father of a Dubai-based British woman who was raped and killed while on a family visit to Pakistan has been postponed by the court.
The two accused were to appear before the court in the city of Jhelum but the judge postponed the hearing until Saturday, said the defence lawyer, Mohammad Arif.
The case of 28-year-old Samia Shahid is suspected to be the latest reported incident of so-called “honour killings” in Pakistan, where nearly 1,000 women are murdered every year for violating conservative norms on love, marriage and public behaviour.
The police have said the killing was a “premeditated, cold-blooded murder” and a government-ordered police inquiry has recommended that her ex-husband and father be tried on charges of rape and murder. Shahid was buried in July in eastern Pakistan after her family declared she had died of a heart attack.
The police investigation concluded her father, Muhammad Shahid, had stood guard while her ex-husband, Muhammad Shakeel, raped her. After that, they killed her together, police say. The investigation found a forensic and DNA test was a perfect match, confirming the rape.
Arif, the defence lawyer, denied the accusations against his clients. Both suspects were arrested last month but have not been formally charged yet.
Shahid 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 with him to Dubai. Shahid’s family, which had settled in Bradford, England, never accepted her second marriage.
Shahid’s mother and younger sister, both also British nationals, are wanted by Pakistani police on accusation that they abetted in her murder. The inquiry has found they got her to agree to come for a week-long visit to Pakistan earlier this summer, claiming her father was gravely ill.
The mother and the sister left Pakistan shortly before the arrests and the Pakistani police are now seeking their extradition from the U.K.
Published: September 8, 2016 04:00 AM