Uncle accused of ‘honour killing’ is arrested in Paris: Niece, 18, went missing in Italy after ‘refusing arranged marriage in Pakistan and telling family she wanted a “Western” lewensstyl’
Danish Hasnain was tracked down by social media to a house in the Garges les Gonesse area not far from the Saint Denis stadium which was raided by French police at the request of the Italian carabinieri on Monday.
Die 33-jarige, who was staying with Pakistani compatriots, had no identity papers but was easily recognised by the distinctive mole on his brow.
He is allegedly the mastermind in the murder of Saman Abbas who went missing at the end of April after telling her family she had a boyfriend in Italy and wanted to live a ‘Western’ lewensstyl.
Italian police say that Hasnain carried out the killing in a conspiracy involving Saman’s father Shabbar, 46, mother Nazia Shaheen, 47, as well as her cousins Nomanulhaq Nomanulahq and Ijaz Ikram, 33 en 28.
Her body has still not been found but is believed to have been buried in a field not far from the family home in the town of Novellara, in the northern province of Reggio Emilia.
Italian prosecutor Emilia Isabella Chiesi told a press conference: ‘From the investigations we made, I believe that he was certainly the mastermind of this crazy criminal project.’
Danish Hasnain (op die foto) was tracked down by social media to a house in the Garges les Gonesse area not far from the Saint Denis stadium which was raided by French police at the request of the Italian carabinieri on Monday. Die 33-jarige, who was staying with Pakistani compatriots, had no identity papers but was easily recognised by the distinctive mole on his brow.
Saman Abbas, 18, went missing at the end of April after telling her family she had a boyfriend in Italy and wanted to live a ‘Western’ lewensstyl.
Saman’s cousin Ijaz was arrested in France in June on suspicion of murder and extradited back to Italy.
Her parents Shabbar and Nazia are in Pakistan and have denied murder of their daughter.
The whereabouts of her cousin Nomanulhaq remains unknown.
Prosecutors say the case dates back to autumn last year, when the family tried to force Saman into an arranged marriage in her native Pakistan.
Saman fled the family home after an argument and since October had been living in a refuge run by social services, fearing for her safety.
But she returned home on April 11 hierdie jaar, apparently to collect identity documents – though it is unclear exactly why she needed them.
Police believe that by April 26 the family had begun preparing for her murder.
That is the date on which uncle Hasnain is alleged to have bought plane tickets for her parents to fly back to Pakistan, aanklaers sê.
Dan, on the evening of April 29, CCTV captured three men who police say are Hasnain, Nomanulhaq and Ijaz walking into fields behind the farm around 7.30pm.
Saman (op die foto) is thought to have enraged relatives by telling them she had a boyfriend in Italy and wanted to live a ‘Western’ lewe
The trio are carrying two shovels, a bucket, and a blue bag with a crowbar in it. They are gone for around two hours, before returning home.
Die volgende dag, Saman reportedly overheard a conversation between her relatives, and told her boyfriend that they were planning her murder.
Saman’s boyfriend, who was not at the property, told Italian newspaper Gazzetta di Reggio Emiliano that she texted him saying she had overheard her uncle remark that murder is ‘the only solution’ for girls who disobey Pakistan’s strict honour codes.
The boyfriend was instructed to contact police in two days if she hadn’t messaged him.
The boyfriend said he tried to reassure her, but she said: ‘I’m not confident.’
Police say more CCTV footage – which hasn’t been published – then shows parents Shabbar and Nazia walking their daughter into the fields behind the farm at nine minutes past midnight on May 1.
The pair return just 13 minute later, with father Shabbar carrying a backpack that Saman had previously been wearing.
Police believe the parents handed Saman over to her uncle and cousins who were waiting in the fields and who killed her and buried her body somewhere on the farm.
The family then left home – Shabbas and Nazia for Pakistan, ostensibly to visit a sick relative, while Ijaz headed into Europe.
When police called at the family farm looking for Saman on May 5, they found Hasnain and Saman’s 16-year-old brother at home, who explained that the rest of the family had gone to Pakistan to see a sick relative, Corriere berigte.
Then the pair also vanished. Op Mei 9 they were stopped at the Italian border with France because the brother was not carrying his identity documents.
Hasnain was released but the brother was detained. While being interviewed by police, he told them of his suspicions that Hasnain orchestrated his sister’s killing with the help of his relatives.
The boy claims the whole family was afraid of Hasnain, who he believes strangled his sister to death following a row over identity documents.
He claimed to have overheard the argument on the night his sister disappeared, before seeing his father come home in tears followed by his uncle and cousins.
CCTV released by Italian police allegedly shows Saman’s uncle and two cousins taking a shovel (op die foto links), a sack and a crowbar into fields behind the family home before she vanished
A phone was later uncovered which allegedly contained a text sent from Hasnain to a friend which reads simply: ‘Job well done.’ Police say this was a reference to the killing.
Ijaz was then arrested in France on June 6 while boarding a bus bound for Barcelona, where he is thought to have relatives. He was extradited back to Italy.
Shabbar and Nazia are in Pakistan, and have spoken to Italian journalists to deny the murder of their daughter, who they say is alive and in Belgium. Prosecutors want to have the pair extradited.
Meanwhile searches are still ongoing at the farm to try and find Saman’s body.
Electromagnetic scanners have been brought in along with sniffer dogs to try and detect the remains, while waterways are also being dredged.
‘The search for the remains of the injured person continues, who unfortunately we believe is dead,’ prosecutor Prosecutor Isabella Chiesi told Reppublica.
‘I would not give any positive feedback to what the father said, we have ascertained that the girl is not in Belgium.’
The case has shocked Italy, with the Union of Islamic Communities issuing a religious ruling denouncing forced marriages following Saman’s disappearance.