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Shafilea Ahmed parents granted bail

The parents of suspected honour killing victim Shafilea Ahmed have been granted bail after being charged with the teenager's murder.

Father Iftikhar, 51, and mother Farzana, 48, were charged with murder two weeks ago, after "a family member" accused them of murdering the teenager, a bail hearing at Manchester Crown Court heard.

The couple, of Liverpool Road, Warrington, Cheshire, were granted bail with a number of conditions by Mr Justice Richard Henriques.

Mr Justice Henriques said: "On December 4 2006 the Crown Prosecution Service decided that there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of charging either applicant.

On August 31 2010, a statement was made by a family member alleging that both applicants had murdered Shafilea.

"Two days later on September 2 both applicants were arrested on suspicion of murder. The allegation contained in the statement was put to them. Mrs Ahmed made a written statement denying the allegation.

"Both applicants were granted police bail and remained on police bail until September 7, 2011 when both applicants answered their bail and were charged with murder and remanded in custody as the law requires."

Mr Justice Henriques said he would now grant the couple bail as they had been on police bail before and not absconded or sought to interfere with witnesses.

Mr and Mrs Ahmed, who were not in court for the hearing, have always denied any involvement in the death of their daughter.

Shafilea's decomposed remains were discovered in Cumbria in February 2004 after she disappeared from the family home in September 2003. She was most likely strangled or suffocated, a pathologist told her inquest.

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