TikTok star Mahek Bukhari tells murder trial jury she only wanted to talk to crash victim
TikTok and Instagram star Mahek Bukhari has told the jury in a murder trial she only wanted to talk to her mother's lover, Saqib Hussain. She asserts she had no plans to kill him, hurt him or ram him off the road.
The 23-year-old was giving evidence for the second day after being charged with the murder of Saqib and his friend Mohammed Hashim Ijazuddin on 11 February.
The two died when their Skoda crashed on the A46.
Mahek Bukhari, who had arranged a meeting with Saqib outside the Tesco store in Hamilton, Leicester, said during her second day in the witness box that she did not want to hurt him.
The jury at Leicester Crown Court has already heard the police interview of her co-accused Mohammed Patel, who described wearing a balaclava to the meeting at Tesco.
But Bukhari today told the jury she saw no one in balaclavas.
The jury has previously heard how Saqib had sexually explicit pictures and videos of Mahek's mother, Ansreen Bukhari, and that he was threatening to show them to her husband and put them online.
Mahek was asked about a text she sent to her mother the month before the fatal crash saying, "I'll make sure he gets jumped".
She said: "I over-reacted, I was angry at the time. There was so much disrespect going to my mum."
When asked why the Skoda containing Saqib and Hashim was chased up the A46 and she said it was "not a pursuit". Mr Thompson asked: "It's perfectly obvious he didn't want to stop, so what were you going to do?"
Bukhari said she was on the phone to Saqib while they were "following" the Skoda, she was trying to get Saqib to pull over somewhere else so they could talk, she said. She said Saqib was upset after seeing a man in the Audi TT with her mother and she was trying to calm him down.
She said: "I had a heated three-minute conversation with him. He's mentioned he's seen a man driving my car with my mum in the passenger and that basically got him triggered.
"He's saying 'your mum's cheating on me' and 'I'm going to your house'. I was telling him, 'Stop and talk, that's the reason we've come to Leicester'. But he was refusing because he got triggered."
Bukhari's evidence was later adjourned for the day after she was left "very upset" by someone verbally abusing her from the public gallery. The incident happened at about 1pm as the defendant was making her way back from the witness box when the trial paused for the lunch break.
The jury members were not in court when the incident happened but the judge, Mr Justice Saini, told them about it when they returned to court after a lunch break that was longer than usual. He told the 12 jury members: "We're not going to continue again this afternoon. We'll start again at 10am tomorrow.
"You deserve an explanation as to why that is. When Miss Bukhari was returning to the dock some comments were made to her by someone in the public gallery.
"They shouldn't have been made and she's justifiably very upset by what was said to her and doesn't feel able to continue giving evidence. She'll continue tomorrow. That's a perfectly appropriate position for her to take."
Mahek Bukhari, her mother Ansreen, and five other defendants all deny murder and an alternative count of manslaughter.