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Father and ex-husband accused of UK woman's 'honour killing'

Published 23/09/2016

Mohammad Shahid, right, and Mohammad Shakeel are escorted to court
Mohammad Shahid, right, and Mohammad Shakeel are escorted to court

Pakistani police have submitted initial charges to a court against the father and ex-husband of a British-Pakistani woman, accused of murdering her in a so-called "honour killing".

Defence lawyer Mohammad Arif said the trial of Mohammad Shahid and Mohammad Shakeel will begin on Tuesday for their alleged role in the murder of 28-year-old Samia Shahid, who was found dead in July at her family's home in Punjab province.

The two accused men appeared before a judge on Friday. The woman's family initially claimed she had died of natural causes, but police now say her father stood guard while Shakeel raped her and afterwards both men strangled her.

The woman's father strongly denied the allegations.

"This is a fake police story and nothing else. I loved my daughter too much and all allegations against me and my son-in-law are a pack of lies," Shahid said outside the courtroom.

He and Shakeel were handcuffed and had their faces covered with cloths.

Mr Arif, who represents both men, said police presented a list of all charges against his clients, during Friday's brief court hearing. He said the court will refer the case to another judge in Jhelum to start the trial.

Ms Shahid married her cousin Shakeel in 2012 but later obtained a divorce and eventually married Mukhtar Kazim and moved with him to the United Arab Emirates. After Mr Kazim publicly accused his wife's family of killing her for marrying him against their wishes, police reopened the case and quickly concluded she had been strangled.

Mr Kazim's lawyer Najful Hussain Shah said he would seek the death penalty.

Nearly 1,000 women are murdered in Pakistan each year for violating conservative norms on love, marriage and public behaviour.

AP

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