The brother of a girl allegedly murdered by her parents for bringing shame on the family denied playing a part in the killing and being part of a cover-up, a court heard on Wednesday.

Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, and his wife Farzana, 49, of Liverpool Road, Warrington, are on trial at Chester Crown Court charged with killing their daughter Shafilea, 17, in 2003.

The court heard from Junyad Ahmed, 22, who would have been 13 at the time of the alleged killing.

The court has previously been told by his sister Alesha Ahmed that the defendants killed the teenager in front of their other children and that Junyad passed a plastic bag to his parents which they stuffed in her mouth as they suffocated her.

Alesha also said that afterwards her brother said "she deserved it".

Junyad, a taxi driver, said that Alesha's story was a "pack of lies", that Shafilea had gone missing and that everything was "normal" in the house that night.

Andrew Edis QC, prosecuting, said: "You did see exactly what happened to Shafilea didn't you?"

He said: "No."

Edis said: "You actually played a part in it."

The witness responded: "I did not play a part in my sister's death."

"And you have been covering it up ever since haven't you?" Mr Edis said.

Ahmed responded: "I have not been covering anything up."

The defendants both deny murder.

The court has heard how Mrs Ahmed recently changed the story she has stuck to for the last nine years by saying that she did in fact witness her husband attack Shafilea on 11 September, 2003.

The court has heard that she is frightened of her husband and he threatened to "do the same" to her and the other children.

But Junyad Ahmed today dismissed his mother's new story as "lies".

He said: "Well obviously, I think it's a lie what she is saying. But that's her personal account to give."

Edis accused him of picking his father's side and that he was sticking to the "family lie".

But the witness denied he was lying and said he was telling the truth.

Tom Bayliss QC, defending Iftikhar, asked the witness what his reaction was when he heard Alesha's evidence about him saying Shafilea "deserved it".

The witness said: "That's a pack of lies. I didn't say anything of the sort."

Asked what he thought of Alesha's story, he said: "Again, it is a whole pack of lies that she has told. I don't believe a word she is saying."

It was not until last year that Shafilea's younger sister, Alesha Ahmed, provided the "final piece of the puzzle" about her death, the prosecution say, when she disclosed that she witnessed her parents killing Shafilea at the family home.

Alesha said her parents pushed Shafilea on to the settee in their house and she heard her mother say "Just finish it here" as they forced a plastic bag into the teenager's mouth and suffocated her in front of their other children.

The couple allegedly murdered their "Westernised" daughter because they believed her conduct was bringing shame on the family, the prosecution said.

Alesha's version of events appeared to have been corroborated in writings her sister Mevish gave to a friend in 2008 which emerged shortly after the start of the trial.

Mevish told the jury the writings were "fiction" and her parents played no part in Shafilea's death.

The jury was sent home for the day and the trial will continue on Thursday.

Comments have been closed for legal reasons.