The father of a British woman who was allegedly killed in an honour killing in Pakistan has been granted bail after police could not provide any direct or circumstantial evidence to connect him to the murder.
Syed Mukhtar Kazam, the second husband of Samia Shahid, had claimed she was a victim of a devious plan by her family who wanted her dead because she ended her first marriage to her cousin to remarry outside the family.
Her first husband, Choudhry Shakeel, was arrested for her murder while her father, Mohammed Shahid, was arrested as a suspected accessory to the murder for luring her to Pakistan and allowing Shakeel to murder her.
Mohammed Shahid has always maintained that his daughter was not murdered from the moment he was arrested.
A bench at the Lahore High Court granted him bail due to lack of evidence with the judge saying Shahid was ‘honest’ with the police.
His lawyer Waheed Anjum told the court: ‘Samia was found dead in Muhammad Shakeel’s house. When Shahid reached there, he found her dead and informed police.
‘The confessional statement of any accused in police custody carries no weight unless police provide solid direct or circumstantial evidence to the court. Police have not recovered anything from Shahid.
‘It also cannot prove that Shahid ever showed his intentions to murder Samia in front his friend or family members.
‘This means that this bail will have no impact on proceedings of the trial court. But confessional statement of accused in front of police has no value.’
Mian Arif, the lawyer for Shakeel is also hoping to get bail for his client claiming there is ‘no solid evidence’.
He said: ‘I will move Shakeel’s bail in a day or two. I hope court will grant him bail as well. There is no solid evidence against my clients.
‘Focus of international media of the case has put everybody under pressure but courts will decide only on the basis of evidence.’
One of Mr Shakeel’s uncles, Haq Nawaz, has also asked police to book in the second husband, Syed Mukhtar Kazam, for polyandry, which is a crime under Pakistani law.
A barrister for the family said: “Shakeel Ahmed married Samia Shahid according to the law on February 27, 2012, and he has never divorced her,”
Mr Nawaz also claims that Kazim and Samia had broken the law in the UK by using forged documents and impersonating his nephew, saying: “Samia Shahid and Mukhtar Kazim prepared fake documents and impersonated Shakeel Ahmed before the UK authorities.”
He went to ask how it was possible for his nephew to appear before UK authorities when ‘he has never travelled to the UK, as his passport shows.’