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Shafilea father denies violence

A father accused of murdering his daughter because she brought shame on the family has denied being a "domineering and violent man" and called into question his wife's "mental state", a court heard.

Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, and his wife Farzana, 49, of Liverpool Road, Warrington, are on trial at Chester Crown Court charged with killing their daughter Shafilea, 17, in 2003.

Mrs Ahmed has always denied murder, but this week the jury of seven men and five women were told she had changed her account and said she witnessed her husband beat Shafilea on the night of the alleged murder. She also claimed he had threatened to do the same to her and their other children if she asked him what had happened to Shafilea.

Mukhtar Hussain QC, defending Mrs Ahmed, cross-examined her husband and accused him of being a violent and controlling man. He said: "I put it to you that you are a domineering and violent man. What do you say to that?" Ahmed replied: "I am not."

Mr Hussain said: "You have controlled your wife and your children and have had absolute control until very very recently haven't you?" Ahmed replied: "I have never had any control over anybody."

Mr Hussain said: "The control has not just simply been exercised recently, but over many years with a degree of violence from you." Ahmed said: "There's never been any violence from me."

Ahmed said a conversation which his wife alleges happened between them when she asked him where Shafilea was "never happened". He told the court: "I am not saying she has made it up. She is under stress. I don't know what her state of mind is at the moment."

Mr Hussain said: "You think her mental state is in question, do you?" He replied: "I think so, yes." Mr Hussain asked Ahmed if he had told his wife, "if she cared for her dear life and that of her children" she would not ask him about Shafilea again.

Ahmed said: "That question never was asked and I never said anything like that."

Mr Hussain asked the defendant if he was accusing his wife of lying? Ahmed said: "I am not saying she is lying. For the past 10 years she has never mentioned anything of the sort."


From Belfast Telegraph