Posted on October 6, 2005

Teenage ‘Honour Killing’ Victim Stabbed 46 Times

Stewart Payne, Telegraph (London), Oct. 6

A Muslim teenager was stabbed 46 times in an “honour killing” after getting engaged to a girl whose father had decided should marry someone else, a jury heard yesterday.

Chomar Ali, 44, a Bangladeshi, had organised an arranged marriage for his only daughter, Manna Begum, 19, and was furious when she not only started going out with Arash Ghorbani-Zarin, an Iranian, but became pregnant by him.

Ali confined his daughter to her room, where she slashed her wrists and had to be taken to hospital. On her return home she remained defiant and she and her boyfriend insisted they should stay together and get married.

Ali then arranged for his son and another youth to ambush 19-year-old Mr Ghorbani-Zarin in his car, a jury at Oxford Crown Court was told. The victim, a former Oxford Brookes University student, was found in November with his body tied to the driver’s seat and covered in wounds.

Miss Begum was described in court as being in love with her boyfriend, who gave up his studies to support her and their unborn child.

“The dislike of the relationship is the motive for the attack on Mr Ghorbani-Zarin,” said Julian Baughan, prosecuting. “The relationship with the girl brought shame and dishonour on the family. That drove the accused, led by the head of the family, to murder Mr Ghorbani-Zarin to vindicate the family’s honour.”

The relationship “was not in accordance with the family’s religious belief and protocol”, said Mr Baughan. “When they found out about it, they stopped her going out, seeing friends, or communicating on the phone.”

After Miss Begum was released from hospital, Mr Ghorbani-Zarin tried to see her. Mr Ali told his wife to fetch a knife and the teenager was ordered to stay away.

Miss Begum was later allowed to return to college but used this as an opportunity to run away and stay with a friend’s relative.

In August last year she discovered she was pregnant and the couple became engaged. “He wanted to marry her and live happily ever after,” said Mr Baughan.

Miss Begum moved back to her family but continued to see her fiancé. On the night of his death, Mr Ghorbani-Zarin had arranged to pick her up to go to visit a friend. The jury heard that he never arrived.

A police patrol discovered him in his Renault a short distance from her house. His head had been tied to the head-restraint. Three of the wounds on his body had punctured his heart and 13 had punctured his lungs.

“Whoever attacked him intended to kill him,” said Mr Baughan. Three days later a man was seen throwing a Tesco carrier bag into nearby allotments. It contained a bloodied knife with the tip snapped off, a baseball cap and a pair of black gloves among other clothing.

The court was told that on Nov 21, Ali’s son, Mohammed Rahman, now also 19, was arrested at home and charged with the murder.

His father, a waiter at an Indian restaurant in Oxford, was charged on March 7.

Ali denies murder and assisting an offender. His son denies murder, as does a third defendant aged 16.

The trial continues.