Shafilea Ahmed killing letters are fiction, court hears

 

A sister of Shafilea Ahmed gave a friend writings in which she spoke about "how her parents killed the teenager", a court heard today.

Mevish Ahmed, 21, was giving evidence in the trial of parents Ahmed, 52, and Farzana, 49, who deny murdering 17-year-old Shafilea at the family home in Warrington, Cheshire, in September 2003.

Cross-examined by Andrew Edis QC, for the prosecution, Miss Ahmed, who was 12 when her sister disappeared, described the papers as "free writing" and fiction.

They were written by Miss Ahmed in 2008 and given to her friend, Shahin Munir, Chester Crown Court heard.

Mr Edis asked Miss Ahmed if she was aware that Ms Munir had given the police "the letters you wrote to her about your sister's death".

The witness said: "They are not letters about my sister's death, they are free writing.

"I write fiction, I write it quite a lot.

"Me and Alesha used to write fictional things and make-believe.

"It's not necessarily associated with ourselves."

Mr Edis went on: "These pieces of paper were about your parents killing Shafilea."

Miss Ahmed replied: "Like I said, fiction writing."

Earlier in the trial, Alesha Ahmed told the jury her parents pushed Shafilea on to the settee in their house and she heard her mother say "Just finish it here" in Urdu as they forced a plastic bag into the teenager's mouth and suffocated her in front of their other children.

The couple murdered their "Westernised" daughter because they believed her conduct was bringing shame on the family, the prosecution say.

Shafilea's decomposed remains were discovered in Cumbria in February 2004 but it was not until 2010 that Alesha provided police with the "final piece of the puzzle" about her death, the trial has heard.

Mr Edis asked Miss Ahmed: "What made you want to embroider a story about this dreadful family tragedy?"

She replied: "I didn't see any harm in it."

The barrister said: "This is a story, if it had a title, it may be My Parents Killed My Sister."

"That wasn't the intention of the story," Miss Ahmed replied.

He then read out the text of the document and pointed out details which appeared to corroborate Alesha's evidence to the jury.

He also pointed out it was made "three or four" years before the older sister's statement to police.

One part read: "Alesha told her to have the drink. But why, why when she knew it was drugged?"

Mr Edis suggested the passage related to the claim, made by Alesha to the jury, that Shafilea was drugged when she was taken to Pakistan.

Miss Ahmed replied: "This is just general writing. I'm just using names. Just because a person is named it doesn't mean it's our story. That doesn't mean it is us."

Another passage said: "They treated her like s**t. (You) know what yeah, I swore on her life and lied. Something I can never turn back yeah but I regret it. I f****** do so much."

Asked whether this related to her parents asking Miss Ahmed to lie about Shafilea's disappearance, the witness denied the allegation and said: "I wrote all sorts."

Mr Edis read out: "I'm thinking it's f****** me next," and asked Miss Ahmed if she was concerned she too would be killed.

"I wasn't thinking that at all," she replied.

In a further passage read to the court, the document said: "Even when she was a kid she'd get beaten and left in cold till dad came then mum would bring her in. (Why) would you do that to a small kid?"

Mr Edis asked: "Is this about Shafilea being abused as a small child?"

"No", Miss Ahmed replied.

He went on: "Is it your evidence that in the last year of her life, your sister had been happy and had a normal relationship with her parents?"

Miss Ahmed replied: "Yes, she did."

A further document, written by Miss Ahmed and given to Ms Munir, read: "Da (sic) date and time is still in my head.

"Everyone was sat there on the couch. She didn't do nothing. Shouting, time after time. What did she do?

"That's it, space of one or two mins, gone. "She deserved it". F****** d******d, f****** d******d. I could kill him. No excuse for her....what have I done?"

Miss Ahmed told the jury it was her own handwriting but added she "couldn't remember writing half that stuff".

"Was this an account of the night Shafilea was murdered," Mr Edis asked.

"No," the sister replied.

Mr Edis said: "It looks like an allegation of murder against your parents which you then gave to Shahin."

Ms Ahmed said it was "chat".

He replied: "Very dangerous chat, given that police were investigating your parents for murder at the time."

Miss Ahmed admitted some of the content was "disturbing" and described it as "c**p", describing herself as a drama queen.

She also told the court she had been using drugs around the time the documents were written.

Mr Edis said Ms Munir was Miss Ahmed's "closest friend, someone you could confide in and trust".

He said Ms Munir told police how they met in a park where they discussed Shafilea's death but Miss Ahmed said she "didn't recall" what was said.

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.

PA

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