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

Shahid and Shakeel are accused of strangling Samia Shahid, 28, in a so-called 'honour killing'.
Dubai resident Samia Shahid was killed in July. Police said her family had not accepted her second marriage. Courtesy Mukhtar Kazim
Dubai resident Samia Shahid was killed in July. Police said her family had not accepted her second marriage. Courtesy Mukhtar Kazim

ISLAMABAD // The trials of the father and former husband of a Dubai British expatriate over her rape and murder opened at a court in Pakistan on Tuesday.

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

Mr Shahid and Mr Shakeel are accused of strangling Samia Shahid, 28, because she married a second time without her family’s acceptance.

They must decide by October 7 whether to plead guilty or not guilty, Mr Arif said. He said both men were in court for the trial presided over by judge Ambreen Qureshi.

After he appeared at a pretrial hearing last week, Mr Shahid denied all charges when speaking outside the courtroom.

“We will contest the case,” Mr Arif said on Tuesday.

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 Ms Shahid’s former 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 death.

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

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. She then married Mr Kazim and they moved to Dubai.

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 killings over so called “family honour” every year.

* Associated Press

Published: September 27, 2016 04:00 AM

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