Shafelia's sister stands by statement

Shafelia Ahmed Photo:

The sister of Warrington girl Shafilea Ahmed has told a jury that her parents played no part in the teenager's death.

Mevish Ahmed, 21, was giving evidence for a third day in the trial of parents Iftikhar, 52, and Farzana, 49, who are accused of murdering 17-year-old Shafilea at home in Warrington, Cheshire, in September 2003.

Cross-examined by Tom Bayliss QC, defending taxi driver Mr Ahmed, his daughter said she stood by her statements to police in December 2003, when Shafilea was missing.Mr Bayliss said:

"The police officer asked you did you think your mum and dad were involved in Shafilea's disappearance and could they be involved in any way. The 12-year-old you said no, what does the 21-year-old you say?"

Miss Ahmed, a personal loans advisor for a large bank, replied: "No, still."

The body of Shafilea, 17, was found on the bank of the River Kent in Cumbria in February 2004. The couple, of Liverpool Road, Warrington, deny murder.

The jury has also seen extracts of writings made by Miss Ahmed and given to a friend, Shahin Munir, which appeared to corroborate Alesha's accusation. Giving evidence from behind a curtain, Miss Munir, 22, said she contacted police on May 29 this year, shortly after the trial started, after discussing the case with her mother.

Questioned by Andrew Edis QC, for the prosecution, she said: "I handed over what Mev gave me four years ago. Descriptions of what happened on the night her sister died."

Although the documents, which the prosecutors say are letters and Miss Ahmed described as "free writing" and "fiction", were later destroyed by Miss Ahmed, her friend had kept copies, the jury heard. The trial was adjourned and Miss Munir will continue her evidence on Thursday.