ITV Central Correspondent Phil Brewster reports from outside Leicester Crown Court
TikTok influencer Mahek Bukhari told a “pack of lies” about her involvement in a crash which killed two men on the A46, the jury heard at Leicester Crown Court.
Mahek Bukhari is accused alongside her mother Ansreen Bukhari and six others of killing Saqib Hussain and Mohammed Hashim Ijazuddin, both 21. But Mahek Bukhari denies any involvement in their deaths.
Mr Hussain and Mr Hashim Ijazuddin are said by prosecutors to have been killed when they were forced off the road, with Mr Ijazuddin's Skoda Fabia "split in two" in the crash just after midnight on February 11, 2022.
Evidence showed that Bukhari knew both Mr Hussain and Mr Ijazuddin prior to the crash, but the prosecution told the jury that the TikTok influencer claimed she did not know them.
CCTV footage and phone data suggested that Bukhari and the two victims were at the Tesco car park in Hamilton, Leicester, just minutes before the fatal crash.
Bukhari claimed otherwise, dismissing any knowledge of who was in the Skoda, prosecutor Collingwood Thompson KC said.
He told the jury: "Mahek Bukhari knew perfectly well that Saqib Hussain was in the Skoda. She may not have known the driver of the car, but she knew Saqib was in the car."
Previously, the court had been told a meet-up in the car park had been arranged to try to stop Saqib blackmailing Bukhari's mother, Ansreen Bukhari, who had been having an affair with Saqib.
That meeting is then alleged to have led to a chase down the A46 at Six Hills.
Mr Thompson also told the jury both Bukhari and her mother handed over their mobile phones to police.
But Bukhari gave an incorrect pin number and this meant that when police tried to open it, it repeatedly reverted to factory settings effectively wiping all the data from the phone - a deliberate attempt, say prosecutors to prevent officers from being able to look at her messages and track her movements.
The prosecution criticised Mahek Bukhari’s claims in the immediate aftermath of the crash, including her statement to police that both police and ambulance crews were at the scene before she left.
Mr Thompson said CCTV proved this was not the case, with Mahek Bukhari’s Audi seen near the outskirts of Leicester at the time of emergency crews’ arrival.
The court was told that Mahek Bukhari believed Hashim, who was the driver of the car, was drunk and playing loud music.
She also said that the car had been veering between lanes prior to the collision. However, Mr Thompson said that this was not the case, as officers confirmed no music was playing.
Mr Thompson said Bukhari had been “providing a false narrative” about the events to cover her tracks.
Mr Thompson told the court: "Even when confronted with irrefutable evidence, the lies continue."
The court heard that the social media influencer claimed she would "never, ever lie" about her involvement in the collision, but Mr Thompson said evidence proved otherwise.
He told the jury: “Her claim she would never lie is, in fact, a lie itself. Compare her first interview to her second and you can see the pack of lies.”
All eight defendants are accused of murdering both men and also face two alternative manslaughter counts, but deny any wrong-doing.
The trial continues.
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