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Cousin held of Pakistani woman missing after refusing to wed

(ANSA) - ROME, MAY 31 - A male cousin of an 18-year-old Pakistani woman who went missing from a town near Reggio Emilia after refusing an arranged marriage in Pakistan was arrested in France at the weekend.
    The man, who was reportedly gearing to flee to Spain and hide with relatives there, is one of five people probed for Saman Abbas's disappearance, including her parents, another cousin and her uncle.
    Procedures to extradite Ikram Ijaz are set to be initiated although Reggio prosecutors have not ruled out going to Nimes to question him before that.
    The woman's father said she is well and in Belgium.
    Abbas went missing from her home in Novellara at the end of April.
    Police said Thursday they had CCTV footage of three people carrying two spades, a bucket with a blue bag, a crowbar and another tool heading for the fields behind the Abbas family house.
    The suspected body-disposal party left the house at 19:15 on April 29 and came back at 21:50 on the same evening.
    Abbas had been placed in a shelter for girls after reporting her parents to social services while she was under age, at 17.
    She then decided to go back home to get her documents, sources said Thursday.
    The parents, aged 43 and 46, had been cited in January for trying to force someone to marry against their will.
    The wedding, with her Pakistani cousin, had been set for December 22 and airline tickets had been bought for December 17.
    Abbas reportedly disappeared after going for a brief trip to northern Europe, police said. Prosecutors said Thursday they had drafted a "plan" to seek Abbas's parents and were searching for her body using dog teams in the fields around her home, as well as dragging the local canals. (ANSA).


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