COPENHAGEN, Denmark – A court in Denmark was expected Wednesday to sentence nine people convicted of murder or accessory to murder in the killing of a 19-year-old woman gunned down by her older brother two days after her wedding because her Pakistani family disapproved of her choice of husband.
On Tuesday, a 12-member jury returned guilty verdicts against the nine, all family members or friends, for the murder of Ghazala Khan.
Khan, who was born in Denmark, was shot and killed Sept. 23 in Slagelse, 62 miles west of Copenhagen, two days after her wedding. Her husband was shot twice in the stomach but survived.
At least two people — Khan's older brother and her father — face the maximum sentence of life imprisonment, which under Danish law is automatically commuted to 16 years.
In testimony during the trial, Khan's older brother, Akthar Abbas, admitted to shooting the couple as they tried to flee to a train station, but he claimed he acted in self-defense because his brother-in-law, Emal Khan, had allegedly kicked him.
On Tuesday, the jurors said they found no mitigating circumstances and nothing to indicate self-defense. They found Akthar Abbas guilty of murder. His father, Ghulum Abbas, was found guilty of incitement to murder and masterminding the killing. Prosecutors had said he ordered his son and other members of the family to track down his daughter and her new husband and kill them. Ghulum Abbas had denied the charges.
Seven other people, including three of Khan's uncles, an aunt and a family friend, were found guilty of being accessories to murder.
The jurors said all but one should be sentenced to at least five years.
The trial, which began in May, has highlighted disparate views on marriage between some immigrants and Danes in this country of 5.4 million people. An estimated 200,000 Muslims live in Denmark.