LONDON: The father of a 10-year-old girl whose death sparked an international manhunt in Pakistan will face trial for her murder next year.
Sara Sharif’s body was discovered at the family home near Woking, southern England, on Aug 10, the day after her father, Urfan Sharif, flew to Islamabad.
An early morning emergency call alerting officers to Sara’s death was made from Pakistan by a man identifying himself as the father, according to detectives.
The house was otherwise empty, and the manhunt continued with Interpol and Britain’s foreign ministry coordinating with authorities in Pakistan.
Sharif, a 41-year-old taxi driver, travelled to Pakistan with his partner Beinash Batool, 29, his brother Faisal Malik, 28, and Sharif’s other five children.
All three adults have been charged with Sara’s murder and today appeared via video link before a judge at London’s Old Bailey court.
The trio, who are also charged with causing or allowing the death of a child, were arrested last week after disembarking from a flight from Dubai after spending a month in Pakistan.
A post-mortem examination found Sara had sustained “multiple and extensive injuries” over a long period.
At today’s hearing, the three spoke only to confirm their names and addresses and were remanded in custody until a pre-trial hearing on Dec 1.
The trial is expected to start on Sep 2, 2024, and last six weeks.