Iqbal is believed to have denied the charges
A man extradited from Pakistan on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, has been charged in connection with the murder of Naziat Khan that took place 20 years ago.
Zafar Iqbal, aged 61, arrived from Pakistan and was taken to a police station in west London upon descending in the UK.
He is charged with allegedly strangling his estranged wife Naziat Khan to death in front of their three daughters in Streatham, south London on Tuesday, August 28, 2001.
Iqbal fled to his home country of Pakistan soon after the incident and remained one of the top 10 of the most wanted criminals in Britain for years.
This may partially be due to difficulties regarding extraditions and how hard it can be to remove people from a country once they have eloped.
For the 61-year-old to be extradited and charged in the UK, both the Pakistani government and the British government had to work together.
The Pakistani government issued arrest warrants for Iqbal in March 2016 after requests were lodged by his daughters in both countries for the alleged murder of their mother.
According to Pakistan’s Daily Times, The Islamabad Additional Deputy Commissioner (General) was appointed to be the inquiry magistrate in this case.
He mandated the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) to arrest the suspect but the unit failed to act upon this order for unknown reasons.
The case was then transferred to the Anti-Human Trafficking Cell in November 2017 which arrested Iqbal from Gulistan Colony in Rawalpindi.
Iqbal is believed to have denied the charges against him and said that the killing had been an accident.
Following a court hearing, he remained in Central Jail in Rawalpindi on a 14-day judicial remand.
However, despite Iqbal being arrested, there was some time before he was back in the UK due to the Pakistani Extradition Act of 1972.
Under this law, only the federal government is allowed to make a decision on whether someone should be extradited, often leading to years between crimes and charges.
This has also led to issues in the past in the case of Shahid Mohammed who killed eight people – including five children – in a house fire in Huddersfield, Yorkshire in 2002.
Petrol was poured through the Chishti family’s letterbox and a petrol bomb was put through the window and lit before Mohammed fled abroad.
He was the only suspect not to have faced justice in connection with the tragedy and his whereabouts were unknown until he was finally arrested in Pakistan in 2015.
Meanwhile, charged with murder, Zafar Iqbal will appear at Croydon Magistrates’ Court via video link on Wednesday, September 15, 2021.