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SHAFILEA TRIAL: Father says press stopped daughter from coming home
6:53pm Thursday 12th July 2012 in News
MURDERED schoolgirl Shafilea Ahmed’s father said he did not want press to get involved when she disappeared in 2003 because it might have stopped her coming home.
Iftikhar, aged 52, and his wife Farzana, of Liverpool Road, both deny murdering their daughter during the trial at Chester Crown Court.
Mr Ahmed said he did not want police to send out a press release when Shafilea was missing because he was concerned about the effect it would have on her when she returned home.
He said: “They could have found her without putting it in the paper but they insisted.
“It didn’t help us in anyway and stopped my daughter from coming from.
“I said if she reads this in the paper she’s not going to come home because that’s what Asian girls think.
“She had left home two times before which had not been advertised and she came home no problem.”
Earlier in court today Mr Ahmed said he was initially told it was food poisoning when Shafilea fell ill during a trip to Pakistan.
He was later told by his wife that she had gone into the bathroom to brush her teeth and use mouth wash but had 'drunk something by accident'.
Andrew Edis, prosecuting, said: "Did you not think that sounded ridiculous. People don't swallow mouth wash do they?"
Mr Ahmed replied: "I don't use mouth wash.
"My daughter always said it was by accident and that's what we believe."
Mr Edis suggested swallowing the toilet cleaner was a cry for help.
But Mr Ahmed replied: "What would be the reason? It's not what she said."
He added it had never occurred to him she could have done it on purpose.
Mr Edis then asked Mr Ahmed about a taped conversation where he said people could get away with murder if they get the papers on their side.
He said: "That was a general conversation where we were saying we should give our side of the story.
“Papers were always suggesting we had been responsible for the murder of our daughter and there had been lots of articles in the Warrington Guardian.”
The trial continues.