SARA Sharif’s father and stepmother were charged with murder hours after they returned to the UK from Pakistan.
The charges come a month after the 10-year-old was found dead in her Woking home. Surreyon August 10th.
Urfan Sharif, 41, his partner Beinash Batool, 29, and his brother Faisal Malik were arrested on suspicion of murder after weeks on the run.
Sharif, Batool and Malik left the UK the day after Sara’s death with five children aged between one and 13.
On Wednesday morning, Urfan and Beinash traveled on an Emirates flight from Sialkot in Punjab province Dubai.
That night, police officers met the couple at Gatwick Airport as their plane landed.
Footage showed officers entering the plane while police cars waited on the tarmac below.
And last night all three were charged with murder and causing or enabling the death of a child.
They will appear at Guildford Magistrates Court today.
A Surrey Police spokesman said: “Three people have been charged with the murder of ten-year-old Sara Sharif, whose body was found at her home address in Woking on August 10.”
“The Crown Prosecution Service today (September 15) approved charges against three people, including Sara’s father, Urfan Sharif, 41, of Hammond Road, Woking, Urfan’s partner, Beinash Batool, 29, of Hammond Road, Woking, and Urfan’s brother , Faisal Malik, 28, of Hammond Road, Woking.
“They were also charged with causing or allowing the death of a child.
“All three have been remanded in custody to appear at Guildford Magistrates Court later today.
“Sara’s mother has been informed of the latest developments and is receiving support from specialists.”
Sara’s heartbroken mother Olga told the Sun that the arrests had lifted a “weight” off her shoulders.
She added: “I am very happy that the police have made arrests.”
“It’s a huge relief and something I didn’t think would happen so quickly.
“I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, but I still have a long way to go before I feel like I’ve come full circle.”
This came after Interpol launched an international manhunt for the trio, while police in Pakistan worked with police in the UK.
Surrey Police said on Tuesday it was working to ensure the safe return of Sara’s five siblings from Pakistan after a court ruled they would be moved to a government child care facility.
Sara’s grandfather Muhammad Sharif said he hid the children in his house, but did not say for how long.
Last week, a video emerged of Sharif and Batool reading a statement together about the horror.
Batool said her family was “ready to cooperate with the British authorities and fight our case in court” but complained about the conditions they are living in.
Batool also said her family went into hiding because “everyone feared for their safety.”
She added: “The children cannot go to school because they are afraid to leave the house. Nobody leaves the house.”
“Food supplies have been depleted and there is no food for the children as adults cannot leave their homes for fear of their safety.”
Sara’s body was discovered after Sharif called 999 from Pakistan.
Doctors were unable to determine the cause of death but Woking Coroner’s Court was told it was likely an “unnatural” death.
An earlier autopsy found she suffered “multiple and extensive injuries, likely sustained over a long period of time.”
How events unfolded:
- August 17 – Sara Sharif’s body is found with “multiple and significant” injuries after her father Urfan called 999 from Pakistan
- August 19 – An international manhunt is launched as Surrey Police name Sara’s father, stepmother and uncle in connection with her death
- August 23 – Uncle claims Sara “fell down the stairs and broke her neck” before the family denies the statement
- August 29 – The Inquiry Commission learns that Sara’s death “was probably unnatural”
- September 6 – Sara’s stepmother says the family wants to “fight our case in court”
- September 7 – Pakistani police search 20 houses in Jhelum and Mirpur to bring out Sara’s relatives
- September 9th – Police officers arrest ten of Sara’s close relatives to put pressure on Urfan
- September 11 – Police officers rescue five children who are believed to have traveled to Pakistan with Urfan
- 13 September – Urfan and Sara’s uncle and stepmother are arrested at Gatwick Airport after returning to the UK