Sister tells court she did not see father kill Shafilea

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Shafilea Ahmed’s sister has told a jury her parents played no part in the teenager’s death.

Mevish Ahmed, 21, was giving evidence for a third day in the trial of parents Iftikhar, 52, and Farzana, 49, who are accused of murdering 17-year-old Shafilea at home in Warrington, Cheshire, in September 2003.

Cross-examined by Tom Bayliss QC, defending taxi driver Mr Ahmed, his daughter said she stood by her statements to police in December 2003, when Shafilea was missing, when she was asked if she thought her parents were involved.

Mr Bayliss said: “The 12-year-old you said no, what does the 21-year-old you say?”

Miss Ahmed replied: “No, still.”

“And they weren’t were they?,” Mr Bayliss went on. “No,” she replied.

Shafilea’s decomposed body was found on a riverbank in Cumbria in February 2004. Sister Alesha Ahmed, 23, has told Chester Crown Court her parents suffocated Shafilea with a plastic bag forced into her mouth at their home, in front of their other children. The couple, of Liverpool Road, Warrington, deny murder.

The jury has also seen extracts of writings made by Mevish Ahmed and given to a friend, Shahin Munir, which appeared to corroborate Alesha’s accusation.

Giving evidence from behind a curtain, Miss Munir, 22, yesterday said she contacted police after the trial started and after discussing the case with her mother.

Miss Ahmed has claimed the writings were “fiction” which she later destroyed, but her friend had kept copies.

Miss Munir kept a daily diary and in an entry on August 8 2008, spoke about a conversation with Mevish. She told the jury her friend told her there had been a row and added: “Her dad started beating her and started hitting her and (Shafilea) could not fight back. She said he was punching her, he just kept going and going.”

Miss Munir said Miss Ahmed tried to help but was pushed back by her mother. Then her father had got a plastic bag and “he used it to suffocate Shafilea”.

She told the jury Miss Ahmed told her Shafilea’s body was taken away in a suitcase and her friend was frightened the same thing would happen to her.

The trial continues today.