Pakistan court adjourns "honour killing" trial


A Pakistani court on Saturday adjourned the case of a British-Pakistani woman's murder until 23 September to give police more time to finalise charges against her father and ex-husband, who are accused of slaying her in the name of honour, police and lawyers said.

Police brought both men before the court in Jhelum as they covered their faces. They avoided most questions from journalists. However, when pressed, the woman's father, Mohammad Shahid, told reporters that the accusations are "all lies."

"The police arrested me, police charged me, you go to police station and check my report, check my statement," Shahid said.

The death of 28-year-old Samia Shahid has shocked the nation as the latest alleged case of so-called "honour killings" in Pakistan. The Bradford native's death while visiting Pakistan in July was originally declared to be from natural causes. But Shahid's second husband, Mukhtar Kazim, publicly accused her family of killing her. The case was reopened and a police probe quickly concluded that Shahid's death was a "premeditated, cold-blooded murder," according to a police statement.

Police allege that Mohammed Shahid stood guard while his daughter's ex-husband, Mohammed Shakeel, raped her. The men then both strangled her, according to police. Defence lawyer Mohammed Arif dismissed the police allegations as a baseless, saying his clients have been wrongly accused. He said he will appeal another court's recent rejection of bail for Mohammed Shahid.

Samia Shahid married her first husband in February 2012, but stayed only briefly in Pakistan before returning to England where she obtained a divorce two years later. She later married Kazim and moved with him to Dubai.

Najful Hussain Shah, the lawyer for Kazim, told reporters that he will seek the death penalty. He said Shahid's mother and sister tricked her into visiting Pakistan in July by saying her father was gravely ill and that the women fled to Britain after her murder. He said the Pakistani government is trying to bring them back for questioning.    (AP)

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