Husband did not find me in bed with murder victim, woman tells court13/06/2012 - 18:28:18
A 41-year-old woman has denied that her husband stabbed her cousin to death after finding her in bed with him.
Rashida Bibi Haider (aged 41) was spending this afternoon being cross examined by the defence in her husband’s murder trial at the Central Criminal Court.
Shahzad Hussain (aged 31) of Woodland Avenue, Mosney, Co Meath has pleaded not guilty to murdering 32-year-old Muhammad Arif on January 7, 2011.
He has also pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Ms Haider and to intentionally or recklessly causing her serious harm on January 6, 2011 at Mr Arif’s apartment in Fitzwilliam Court, Dyer Street, Drogheda, Co Louth.
Both Ms Haider and her cousin, Mr Arif, were rushed to hospital that afternoon with stab wounds to their liver. Ms Haider received life-saving surgery, but Mr Arif died in hospital the following day.
The trial had already heard that the deceased, the accused and Ms Haider, all originally from Pakistan, had lived together for a time in Mr Arif’s Drogheda apartment. However, the arranged marriage between Ms Haider and Mr Hussain had begun to fail and both moved out separately in the month before the killing.
Ms Haider testified last week that she returned to the apartment on January 5 to collect some things and stayed the night. She said that her husband arrived the following afternoon and stabbed both her and her cousin.
Her husband’s barrister, Dominic McGinn SC, suggested to Ms Haider yesterday that her husband had found her and Mr Arif in bed that afternoon.
“No. No,” she replied from the witness box.
He suggested that she had run into the ensuite and dressed herself.
“I was fully dressed,” she insisted.
He asked her why she was wearing trousers but no underwear when she was taken to hospital. She said she had taken them off for prayer.
“The reality is your husband found you and Mr Arif in bed,” repeated Mr McGinn.
“Having seen that, he went into the kitchen. You went to talk to him, having got dressed in the ensuite.”
She denied this.
Mr McGinn said that Mr Arif then followed them into the kitchen.
“And rather than apologise, he said: ‘We’re not in Pakistan now. We’re in Ireland. I’m allowed to do this’. Mr Arif was unapologetic in the way he spoke,” said Mr McGinn.
“No,” replied the witness, insisting that her cousin had spoken only to tell her husband to stop and to sit down.
“Mr Arif was teasing, and only at that point did your husband grab the knife that was on the counter,” continued Mr McGinn, suggesting that his client had stabbed Mr Arif because of the way he spoke to him.
“You were injured when Mr Arif pushed your husband, with the knife in his hand, into you,” he suggested.
“No,” she said.
Earlier, the jury heard from Deputy State Pathologist Dr Khalid Jabbar, who carried out the post-mortem examination on Mr Arif’s body.
He gave the cause of death as acute complications of penetrating stab wounds to the liver, explaining that the portal vein had been injured and that this carried a high mortality rate.
The trial continues before Mr Justice Barry White and a jury of nine men and three women.
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