JHELUM: The former spouse of a Bradford beautician, who became the victim of a suspected honour killing in Pakistan, has confessed to strangling her, according to police.
Chaudhry Shakeel’s admission to investigators that he had killed Samia Shahid, 28, emerged on Friday as he appeared in a Jhelum court alongside the woman’s father, Chaudhry Shahid who is accused of being an abettor.
The two men were formally arrested after the court hearing. The media was barred from entering the courtroom and the hearing did not last more than two minutes with the judge remanding the suspects in police custody for four days.
The suspects were handed over to the Mangla police after the judge cancelled their interim bails.
Samia, a British national of Pakistani-origin, was found dead on July 20 in a house in Jhelum. The 28-year-old beautician was visiting relatives in her ancestral village.
Her family claimed she suffered a heart attack, but Samia’s husband Kazim Mukhtar alerted the authorities, believing his wife had been murdered over honour because the family did not approve of their marriage.
A post-mortem examination has since confirmed the woman died of asphyxiation as a result of strangulation, police say.
Samia’s first husband, Shakeel, was detained on suspicion of her murder while her father Shahid has been arrested as an abettor.
The prime accused has reportedly confessed to strangling his former wife with her dupatta (long scarf) for being “immoral”. He said he tried to convince Samia many times to end her marriage with Kazim Mukhtar, but when she refused he finally killed her, police said.
Shakeel’s interim bail was cancelled by the additional district and sessions judge when he did not appear on the hearing of his bail-before-arrest plea a day earlier.
Two hours later, police brought him and Shahid to the court of a civil judge and obtained their four-day physical remand.
The case attracted wide attention as it came within days of another high-profile honour killing of the outspoken social media starlet, Qandeel Baloch, at the hands of her brother.