Another relative of a teenage girl thought to have been murdered in Italy last year by her Pakistani family was arrested on Monday in Spain, Spanish and Italian police said.
Spanish police arrested a cousin of 18-year-old Saman Abbas at an apartment near Barcelona in a joint operation carried out with Italian police, a spokesman for Spain’s National Police said.
“He was detained this morning,” he said. Italian police identified him as 34-year-old Nomanul Haq, who is suspected of “being jointly responsible for the kidnapping, murder and concealment of the body” of Abbas.
Another cousin and the young woman’s uncle were both arrested in France and extradited to Italy last year over her death, while Saman’s parents are still fugitives in Pakistan.
The case has sparked outrage in Italy and has become front page news since police began investigating the teenager’s disappearance in May. Her body has yet to be found.
Abbas, who lived in the northern Italian town of Novellara, in 2020 refused her family’s plan to have her marry a cousin in their home country of Pakistan.
While still a minor, she turned to social services and in November 2020 was moved into a shelter home. She also reported her parents to police, but in April 2021 returned to them.
Police began searching for her on May 5, when officers visited her house and found nobody.
Officers then discovered that the girl’s parents had left for Pakistan without her, and found images from a nearby security camera that made them fear the worst.
Late on April 29, five people could be seen walking off from the house holding shovels, a crowbar and a bucket, and returning after about two-and-a-half hours.