A man wanted by British police for allegedly causing the deaths of eight people in a West Yorkshire town has been extradited back to the UK from Pakistan, a statement issued on Wednesday said.
Shahid Mohammed, 36, will be presented at the Leeds Magistrates Court on Thursday after his extradition from Pakistan, a press release issued by the British High Commission on behalf of West Yorkshire Police said.
He will be formally charged with the murders of five children and three adults following a house fire in Birkby, Huddersfield in 2002.
Aged between 54 and as young as six months old, the eight members of the family were asleep in their home when petrol was poured through the letterbox and a petrol bomb put through the window, BBC reported.
According to the handout, Mohammed, a former resident of Huddersfield, was extradited to the UK by officers from West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, with assistance from the National Crime Agency, the British High Commission in Islamabad, the Crown Prosecution Service and local authorities in Pakistan.
The suspect had remained imprisoned since his arrest in Rawalpindi in January, 2015 following a joint operation between West Yorkshire Police, the NCA and Pakistani authorities. He was flown to the UK from Islamabad International Airport.
The press release quoted Detective Superintendent Nick Wallen of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team as saying that Mohammed's extradition was a significant development in the investigation of the arson-murder case.
“At the centre of this investigation is the Chisthi family, who lost eight members of their family during the fatal house fire and have shown such dignity since the tragedy occurred in 2002,” he said.
The officer thanked the agencies in the UK and in Pakistan who assisted West Yorkshire Police in the extradition of the suspect.
According to the statement, this is only the second extradition from Pakistan in more than 10 years.
In May 2016, a man named Mohammed Zubair was extradited from Pakistan and was found guilty of murder at Bradford Crown Court in February 2017. His extradition also followed an investigation and extradition request from West Yorkshire Police, the press release said.