Samia Shahid ‘honour killing’ case: Accused fail to appear before court

London, Aug. 7 : The former husband, father and cousin of Bradford resident Samia Shahid, who was allegedly the victim of an "honour" killing in Pakistan, have failed to appear at a scheduled court.

Days after forensic tests by the Pakistan Police indicated that 28-year-old Samia was strangled, a lawyer for the three suspects told the court in Jhelum, Pakistan, that they were being illegally detained by the police, reports the Guardian.

The victim's family has so far denied the allegations and claimed that she died of a heart attack. The investigation into her death began after her husband Syed Mukhtar Kazam raised an alarm. Bradford MP Naz Shah also demanded the Pakistani authorities to exhume her body and commission an independent post-mortem.

Mian Mohammad Arif, the lawyer for the accused, has claimed they are being held in "secret detention".

"Last night we had submitted a habeas corpus application with the local court and the judge presiding over Samia's case had sent a bailiff to the police station to bring the accused to the courts this morning (Saturday), but the police did not produce them," said Arif.

He claimed that Samia's father and cousin were already in police custody and alleged the police are keeping them in secret detention to scare them into forcibly confessing the crime.

Mangla Police Station SHO Malik Ageel, however, denied any knowledge of whereabouts of the accused. The court was due to hear arguments from both sides on Saturday and was to decide on whether to extend Shakeel's pre-arrest bail.

After the suspects failed to appear, the judge extended Shakeel's bail until August 13 and told the SHO to produce him and the rest of the accused before the court by that date.

Source: ANI