Sara Sharif's fugitive father and stepmother land in Britain
Sara Sharif’s fugitive father and stepmother land in Britain: Parents now face Surrey Police for questioning over 10-year-old’s death – after spending a month in Pakistan
- Detectives will escort Urfan Sharif and Beinash Batool from the Emirates plane
Sara Sharif’s runaway father and stepmother have tonight landed back in Britain to face police questions over the murder of their 10-year-old girl last month.
The dramatic development came after the pair went into hiding in Pakistan for a month, and an international manhunt was launched there and in the UK.
Surrey Police officers were expected to board the Emirates A380 Airbus as soon as it taxied to a halt after landing at Gatwick Airport at 7.28pm tonight.
Detectives will escort Urfan Sharif, 41, and his partner Beinash Batool, 29 from the plane, along with Mr Sharif’s brother Faisal Malik, who is also wanted for questioning.
They are expected to be driven to a Surrey Police station.
Sara Sharif (pictured) was found dead and alone in her family’s home near Woking, Surrey, on August 10
Sara’s father (left) and his partner Beinash Batool (right) released a video last week addressing the death and confirming they are in hiding
Urfan Sharif and his partner Beinash Batool have both arrived back in the UK
Surrey Police officers were expected to board the Emirates A380 Airbus as soon as it taxied to a halt after landing at Gatwick Airport at 7.28pm tonight
The couple and Mr Malik had played cat-and-mouse with the Pakistani authorities for a month since flying to the country, but according to their lawyers, they finally decided to come back to Britain and give their accounts to the police.
Sara was found dead at her family home in Woking, Surrey, on 10 August – a day after the three adults left the UK.
READ MORE: Sara Sharif’s fugitive father and stepmother describe her death as ‘incident’ and vow to ‘fight our case in UK court’ as couple, seen in first video since fleeing to Pakistan, reveal they’ve ‘run out of food’ and are in hiding over ‘safety fears’
Post-mortem tests found Sara suffered ‘multiple and extensive injuries’ over a ‘sustained and extended’ period of time.
The three adults left the UK with five other children aged between one and 13.
Surrey Police had said they would like to speak to the three adults in relation to Sara’s death, and were ‘absolutely committed to conducting a thorough investigation.’
The man leading Operation Unison, the inquiry into Sara’s murder, Detective Superintendent Mark Chapman from the Surrey and Sussex Police Major Crime Team, is expected to give a statement at Surrey Police HQ in Guildford later.
Sara’s body was found after Mr Sharif alerted police from an unknown location in Pakistan where he had gone into hiding.
This morning they boarded a flight from Pakistan travelling via Dubai and were due to arrive at Gatwick at 7.45pm, though their flight was half an hour early.
The Sharif’s family lawyer, Raja Haq Nawaz, told MailOnline today the trio had boarded an Emirates flight from Pakistan’s eastern city of Sialkot. He said they were not under arrest and had voluntarily left for the UK.
A spokesman for Jhelum Police, Mudassar Khan also confirmed all three had left for the UK.
The couple’s remaining children were taken into custody by police on Monday from their grandfather’s house and were later handed into the care of the government run Child Protection Bureau following a court hearing on Tuesday.
All five children have remained behind in Pakistan and are currently being cared for at the Bureau’s Lahore centre.
Tributes outside the home of Sara Sharif, where the little girl’s body was found on August 10
Faisal Malik, brother of Urfan Sharif, is wanted over the suspicious death of the ten-year-old girl
An autopsy of the girl did not establish a cause of death but showed that she had suffered ‘multiple and extensive injuries, which are likely to have been caused over a sustained and extended period of time’
This week the Mail revealed how the family had launched a desperate legal bid to prevent them being extradited back to the UK.
They complained that their freedom of movement and travel have been infringed by the police investigation into Sara’s death.
In a petition to Lahore High Court littered with mistakes including Sara’s age, the family complained ‘they are required for the murder of Sara’s (sic), daughter aged about 12/13 year in the United Kingdom.’
READ MORE: Pakistani police ‘recover five children from the home of Sara Sharif’s grandfather’
The legal papers lodged on behalf of (Urfan’s father) Muhammad Sharif stated that the missing couple and their extended relatives have been ‘victimised’ by the police hunt, denied their fundamental right to travel and complain they have been ‘deprived’ of personal liberties.
It was argued that Pakistani police has no basis to detain the couple as they haven’t committed any offences in Pakistan and there is no extradition treaty with Britain.
The family’s lawyer Malik Asif Taufeeq Awan demanded the court intervene to ‘protect and to save the entire family member including Urfan Sharif as well as her (sic) wife Benish Batool from the illegal iron hands of respondent authorities.’
The case had been due to be heard next week but the couple decided to hand themselves in today.
Five of her Sara’s siblings, aged between one and 13 and brought to Pakistan with the adults, were discovered at the home of Sharif’s father yesterday.
A magistrate placed the children into state protective services today.
Surrey Police say 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.
The five children were recovered by police Monday evening from Muhammad Urfan’s home in Jhelum, about 175 kilometers (110 miles) northwest of Lahore in central Pakistan
The children, ranging in age from 1 to 13, were found after Interpol issued yellow notices for them, which are used to help locate missing persons, often minors
Olga Sharif with a picture of her daughter Sara who was found dead at her home in Woking, Surrey
Sara’s Polish mother, Olga Sharif, has said 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.
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