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British charity to sue police, prosecutors in murder case


London : A British charity is to sue the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) after they failed to protect an Asian woman who was murdered by her husband, a known domestic violence offender.

In what could become a test case in Britain, the domestic violence charity Refuge said Greater Manchester Police in northern England and the CPS had violated human rights legislation over the 2008 murder of Sabina Akhtar.

Twentysix-year-old Sabina was murdered by her husband, Malik Mannan, 36, at their home in Manchester in September 2008 – just four days after he was released by the police.

Sabina had contacted the police two months before her death and alleged he had assaulted her and made threats to kill her.

Mannan was arrested twice and ordered to stay away from his wife, but he was released without charge and continued harassing her.

After Sabina’s murder, the CPS apologised to her family before he was sentenced, saying it was “wrong” not to have charged him earlier.

Refuge Chief Executive Sandra Horley told BBC radio: “Under human rights legislation the authorities have a duty to protect persons and we believed in this case the police and CPS failed spectacularly and if they had handled it better she might still be alive today.

“I believe the only way to change policy and practice is to hit them where it hurts in their wallets,” she said, adding that if the case was successful it would have a dramatic effect on the police and CPS.

The CPS, a non-ministerial government department, is responsible for public prosecutions in criminal cases and advises the police on charges to bring.

A police spokesman said it was the court system, and not the police, which failed to protect victims.