The father and stepmother of Sara Sharif, found dead and with multiple injuries on August 10, have been detained by British police after their return from Pakistan and are being questioned as suspects in the brutal murder of the 10-year-old girl, after for having evaded an international search warrant for a month.
Ufan Sharif and Beinash Batool arrived at London's Gatwick airport at 7:30 p.m. local time (8:30 p.m. in Spain) on a flight from the Pakistani city of Salkot with a stopover in Dubai. The deceased girl's uncle, Faisal Malik, returned with them, also detained upon arrival.
Pakistani police sources informed The Guardian that the return has been possible after "fruitful negotiations" with the British police. Ufan Sharif and Beinash Batool, who flew to Pakistan with the family's other five children on August 9, said in a video that Sara's death was "an accident."
The girl's mother, British Olga Sharif, who lost custody after a court battle with the father after the separation, however stated that she had a hard time recognizing her daughter's body due to the blows she received on the face. According to the autopsy, her death was caused by "multiple wounds and bruises."
Since their arrival in Pakistan a month ago, Ufan Sharif and Beinash Batool were missing. Pakistani police found her five other children with their grandfather Muhamad Sharif in the city of Jehlum, a hundred kilometers from Islamabad. The five children - aged one to thirteen - were transferred to a children's shelter on Tuesday by court order.
"The month-long saga has come to an end following negotiations with local Jehlum politicians and diplomatic assurances that have enabled the voluntary surrender of the fugitives and their return to the UK for questioning over Sara's death." , a lawyer for the family, Osama Malik, told The Guardian. "A new court order will be needed for the other five children, currently in the care of the Pakistani state, to leave the country and return to British soil."