Shafilea’s mother, Farzana, abruptly changed her story in court and implicated her husband, Iftikhar, in the killing..
Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed are on trial in Chester, England, accused of killing Shafilea, 17, in September 2003. They have pleaded not guilty.
Her dismembered body was found on a riverbank months after she disappeared. She had been stripped of anything that would identify her, prosecutor Andrew Edis told the jury in May, according to ITV.
Newspapers, television and radio have all been reporting on the prosecution case that Shafilea’s parents killed her because they felt her “Western” lifestyle brought shame on the family.
Shafilea’s sister Alesha testified last month that she saw her parents kill the teen by stuffing a plastic bag into her mouth.
She said her parents were angry that Shafilea was wearing a short-sleeved, V-neck top, and no sweater, on the night she was killed.
“Just end it here,” Farzana said to Iftikhar, according to their daughter.
They pushed Shafilea down onto a sofa and suffocated her despite her struggles, Alesha testified.
Prosecutor Edis called it “an act of suffocation by both parents acting together.”
Alesha Ahmed did not tell police she had seen the killing until 2010, after she was detained by police in connection with a robbery of the family’s home, ITV reported.
She has pleaded guilty to robbery. Prosecutors said she had not been offered any sort of deal in exchange for testifying against her parents.
She has testified that both her parents physically abused Shafilea “every day” over the course of five years, and that her mother did it more “because she was at home more.”
On Monday, Farzana unexpectedly said she had seen her husband attack Shafilea. She said that she tried to intervene to protect the girl, but that her husband pushed her away and punched her, ITV reported.
“Extremely scared,” she fled the room and stayed in a bedroom with other children until she heard a car leaving 20 minutes later.
When her husband returned alone, she asked where their daughter was.
“If you care for your dear life and that of your children, don’t ever ask me this question again,” he told her, ITV reported.
Farzana Ahmed testified Monday that only one of their children, Mevish, was present when she saw her husband attacking Shafilea.
The jury was told that Shafilea had been taken to Pakistan for a hastily arranged marriage before her death, and drank bleach there when her parents suggested she was staying there when the rest of the family returned to England, ITV reported.
She was hospitalized for three months after the family came home because of the bleach incident, Alesha testified.
Alesha testified in May that her parents were very strict with their daughters, ITV reported.
“Our family was very restricted. It was very different. The Pakistani culture is more restrictive in terms of what you can wear or do,” she said.
The trial began in May and is expected to last several more weeks, prosecutors say.
Reliable figures of the number of honor murders around the world are hard to come by, but the United Nations Population Fund has estimated there could be 5,000 per year.