Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Sedative found in Rahila's stomach

Pakistani police have received the first part of the autopsy report on Rahila Iqbal, who died in mysterious circumstances in northern Pakistan. Lawyer Abid Raja has traveled from Norway to assist Azhar Iqbal, and he was not impressed with the latest revelation in the case. Rahila Iqbal died aged 20 in an apparent car accident outside the village of Randheer when the vehicle she was in allegedly drove off the road and into a body of water. Rahila's husband in Norway claimed that the death was an honor killing carried out by his wife's family because she had defied their wishes and married him, and also converted to his form of Islam. On Wednesday morning the first of three parts of the final autopsy reports arrived and police said that traces of sedative substances had been found in Rahila's stomach. "The report we have received shows that Rahila had either taken some kind of sleeping medicine or a sedative," said local prosecutor Shahbaz Khan. A source told Aftenposten that police believe the new evidence strengthens suspicions against Rahila's father, Azhar Iqbal, who has been in custody for over three weeks while police investigate the case. "This is completely new to me. I think it is worrying that police publicize such information in the media before I am informed. In any case it is far too early to allege anything if they have not yet managed to demonstrate the amount or type of substance," said Azhar Iqbal's counsel, Abid Raja. Both Rahila and her father are naturalized Norwegian citizens.


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