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Family of Scot who died in Pakistan set to prosecute case

SOLICITORS for a Scots woman allegedly murdered in Pakistan are to pursue their own prosecution, sidestepping the state representatives.

The legal team for Mumtaz Sattar, 38, from Penilee, Glasgow, want to try the affair themselves because they are not confident of the ability of the state to competently handle it following allegations of police corruption.

Ms Sattar's husband, Abdul who was arrested in connection with the death is expected to stand trial early next year.

But Glasgow-based solicitor Aamer Anwar, representing Ms Sattar's family who have replaced their Pakistani legal team, says they will require more time to prepare their case.

After his arrest Mr Sattar, 45, told police he and his wife were drugged and attacked by two men during a taxi ride on the way from Lahore airport to see his parents in the Punjab on September 21.

Mr Sattar was held with three other men in connection with the death after doubt was cast over his version of events.

Mr Anwar said: "We are in the position of trying to prosecute from over here. Obviously things are different over there. The state can appoint a prosecutor if the family requests but the concern we had was allegations of bribery and corruption going on with the police.

"It is not so unusual, it does happen (that victim's solicitors prosecute) but in this instance the concern immediately was the fact that money was changing hands and allegations of corruption were being raised and we felt that if this lies in the hands of the police (there won't be justice).

"Everything that I wanted done wasn't done by the police, so my concern is that a trial will collapse in the eventuality of it proceeding on January 7. So we might want to get it adjourned to give them more time."

Critical to the investigation was the recovery of the white car which Mr Sattar said was a taxi and used to transport him and his wife from outside the security perimeter of the airport in Lahore.

Mrs Sattar's legal team say police have confirmed the car, linked to the three other men arrested, is not a taxi.

Police were said to have examined CCTV footage from the airport in a bid to trace the taxi driver.

The Sattars, who had been married for 14 years, have two daughters, aged 10 and 13, who are being looked after by family in Scotland.

The move by Mrs Sattar's legal team comes after former Glasgow MP Mohammad Sarwar, now Punjab governor, pledged that justice would be done.

"I assured the family that justice will be done and anyone who has committed this heinous crime will be charged and will be brought to justice," he said.

"It's not about being a champion. It's about justice; it's about fairness."

He said the government led by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would be looking "very seriously" at how to protect the rights of overseas Pakistanis and ensure their security in their motherland, saying that some in Pakistan believe they can escape justice if they commit a crime.

Mrs Sattar's family had asked Mr Sarwar for help amid claims that police corruption has hampered the investigation.

The relative earlier lodged a petition at the High Court in Lahore which names a single murder suspect.

Locals in the village where Mr Sittar's parents live, 40 miles from Faisalabad said they had heard he and Mrs Sattar were robbed and she was killed by attackers who took her jewellery, £3500, two mobile phones and the couple's passports.

It is understood Mr Sattar was asked not to leave the country after he applied to the British High Commission for travel documents.

Mrs Sattar was buried 14 hours after she was pronounced dead and the service was shown online to family members in Scotland via Skype.

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