Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Shafilea sister denies lie claims

Shafilea Ahmed's remains were found in Cumbria five months after she vanished

Shafilea Ahmed's sister denied telling her police handlers she "made up" the story of how her parents murdered the teenager, a court has been told.

Alesha Ahmed was continuing her evidence at Chester Crown Court where her parents, Iftikhar, 52, and Farzana, 49, deny murdering 17-year-old Shafilea.

The teenager vanished in September 2003 and her decomposed remains were discovered in Cumbria in February 2004.

It was not until last year that Ms Ahmed provided the "final piece of the puzzle" about Shafilea's death, the prosecution say, when she disclosed that she witnessed her parents killing Shafilea at the family home in Liverpool Road, Warrington.

Tom Bayliss QC, defending Mr Ahmed, said: "It's not been an easy journey for you has it? You've had pangs of conscience about the lies you have told. You have tried to retract your statement haven't you?"

Miss Ahmed said: "I never tried to retract my statement. I've always said if I don't want to be a witness it is because I can't cope, not because I want to take my statement away."

Mr Bayliss said that in March this year Ms Ahmed was having some sort of argument with her "police handlers". He said: "You said, 'it's all made up anyway,' didn't you?"

Ms Ahmed replied: "I have never said that. It's never been brought to my attention if I did." She added: "I don't even remember being asked the question at all."

Earlier the court was told how Ms Ahmed had lied to police in an attempt to cover her tracks in the aftermath of a robbery which she organised at the family home in August 2010. The jury was told four masked men burst into the house armed with a gun, a hammer and iron bar and tied up her mother and her sisters.

Last week Ms Ahmed said her parents had stuffed a plastic bag in Shafilea's mouth and suffocated her in front of the children. The couple allegedly murdered their "westernised" daughter because her conduct was bringing shame on the family, the prosecution said.

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