UK police arrest three relatives on return from Pakistan over girl's death
UK police on Wednesday arrested three British-Pakistani relatives of a 10-year-old girl on suspicion of her murder, moments after the trio landed back in Britain following a month on the run in Pakistan.
Sara Sharif's body was discovered at the family's home near Woking, southeast England, on August 10. A post-mortem examination revealed she had sustained multiple and extensive injuries over a sustained period.
Police had said Urfan Sharif, 41, his partner Beinash Batool, 29, and his brother Faisal Malik, 28, fled to Pakistan to take refuge with relatives before Sara's body was found, sparking an international manhunt.
This evening... three people were arrested in connection with this investigation at Gatwick Airport, Surrey Police detective superintendent Mark Chapman said in a televised statement.
Two men, aged 41 years and 28 years, and a woman aged 29 years were arrested on suspicion of murder after disembarking a flight from Dubai, he added, without naming the trio in line with UK police practice.
The suspects flew from Pakistan to Britain via the gulf hub.
They are currently in custody and will be interviewed in due course.
A Pakistan police spokesman had earlier said that Sharif, Batool and Malik had voluntarily returned to Britain with the prior knowledge of authorities.
I confirm that they have not been arrested but they left voluntarily, Raja Haq Nawaz, a lawyer for Urfan Sharif's father, also told AFP.
- 'An incident' -
Earlier this month, Sharif and Batool appeared in a video distributed to media, in which Batool said they were willing to cooperate with UK authorities and fight our case in court.
All of our family members have gone into hiding as everyone is scared for their safety, she said, alleging malpractice by the Pakistan police hunting them.
In the two-and-a-half-minute low-quality video there was little mention of Sara's death, which Batool called an incident.
Surrey Police have said the fugitive trio were thought to have flown to Islamabad on August 9, the day before Sara was discovered at the family's home in the village of Horsell, just outside Woking.
An early morning emergency call alerting officers to Sara's death was made from Pakistan by a man identifying himself as the father, detectives said.
The house was otherwise empty, and the manhunt continued with Interpol and Britain's foreign ministry coordinating with authorities in Pakistan.
Five of her purported siblings, aged between one and 13 and brought to Pakistan with the adults, were discovered at the home of Urfan Sharif's father on Monday.
A magistrate placed the children into state protective services on Tuesday.
- 'Difficult time' -
Surrey Police have said they are working with other local and international authorities to secure the children's safe return.
But it is unclear where they will ultimately be sent or for how long they may be kept in the custody of Pakistan's child protection bureau.
Sara's Polish mother, Olga Sharif, had been informed of the arrests and is being supported by specialist officers, the UK force also noted.
Our thoughts remain with her and those affected by Sara's death at this very difficult time, Chapman said.
Olga Sharif has said in an interview that she could barely recognise her daughter's small, battered body when she identified her at the mortuary last month.
She told Polish television one of her cheeks was swollen and the other side of her face was bruised.
Olga and Urfan separated in 2015, and Sara and her older brother had lived with their mother until a family court determined in 2019 that they should reside with their father, according to UK media.
Sara had been removed from primary school in April to be homeschooled by her stepmother and was known to the local council's social services department, the British reports said.
(2023/09/14 17:24)Click Here for Japanese Translation
AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL
- 09/22 16:04 Goat vibrations-- Animals teach surfers in California
- 09/22 16:02 World's oldest wooden structure discovered in Zambia
- 09/22 16:01 In sleepy Montenegro, competitors shatter records at the 'Lazy Olympics'
- 09/22 16:00 'Embrace the hate'-- Ukraine military's trans spokesperson
- 09/22 15:59 France sounds alert on primates' skulls trafficking
- 09/22 15:56 Federer eyes future captaincy for Europe at Laver Cup
- 09/21 17:03 Ukraine war amputees tackle mountain hike
- 09/21 17:02 Venezuela seizes control of gang-run prison with pool, disco
- 09/21 16:58 Ukraine's first lady at UN-- help bring 'abducted' children home
- 09/21 16:57 Teen's classroom arrest on bullying claims riles France
- 09/21 16:55 Taiwan's TSMC to help train German students for semiconductor careers
- 09/21 16:53 France's iconic 'Liberty' painting gets Louvre facelift
- 09/20 16:39 Water shortage drives elephant migration from Zimbabwe
- 09/20 16:38 Tire maker honored for tackling electric car pollution
- 09/20 16:37 Avian flu hits bird paradise of Galapagos Islands
- 09/20 16:35 Foreign business lobbies warn working in China harder than ever
- 09/20 16:33 Parents of French schoolboy who killed himself 'appalled' by treatment
- 09/20 16:31 Most Spanish women footballers rejoin squad after deal
- 09/19 16:48 Acai berry craze-- boon or threat for the Amazon?
- 09/19 16:45 Trump says his problem with Biden is competence, not age
- 09/19 16:44 India's Nipah virus outbreak-- what do we know so far?
- 09/19 16:43 Spain players reiterate strike intention despite national call-up
- 09/19 16:40 Thousands stage climate protests across Germany
- 09/19 16:40 France probes deaths of Champagne workers in heatwave
- 09/15 16:21 Ukraine 'abortion fairy' helps refugees in Poland
- 09/15 16:19 France targets incest for first time in national campaign
- 09/15 16:18 Italian police find stolen treasures at Australian museum
- 09/15 15:35 'Fuel of the future'-- Gulf states bet on 'green' hydrogen
- 09/15 15:34 UK man swims entire New York river in clean-water campaign
- 09/15 15:33 Women to referee at men's Asian Cup for first time
- 09/14 17:26 Alleged bodies of 'non-human beings' shown in Mexican Congress
- 09/14 17:25 Suu Kyi party says Myanmar junta depriving her of medical care
- 09/14 17:24 UK police arrest three relatives on return from Pakistan over girl's death
- 09/14 17:23 Norway's princess to marry her shaman in August 2024
- 09/14 17:20 Austrian ex-minister settles in Russia, with ponies in tow
- 09/14 17:19 Sardine dish poisons to death diner in France