Norway police interview UK man over Skype child death
- 11 January 2012
- From the section Europe
A British man has been interviewed by police investigating the death of a little girl in Norway while the child's mother was talking to him on Skype.
Yasmin Chaudhry was arrested by police in Oslo after her 20-month-old daughter died after being plunged into a bucket of water in October 2010.
A prosecutor told the BBC the woman initially said it was an accident.
But she later said the girl died after Briton Ammaz Qureshi told her to hold her under water to discipline her.
The girl was taken to hospital on the night of 10 October 2010 and was declared clinically dead the following day.
Mrs Chaudhry, 26, has been charged with the equivalent of manslaughter and is being held in custody pending her trial. Her son has been taken into care.
Prosecutor Kristin Rusdal said: "The preliminary charge is unintentional murder. She claims that was never her intention.
"But we say if you hold a child that age under water you will understand that that might lead to her death."
She said she could not give out the child's name but The Sun newspaper reported the little girl was called Hunaina.
Mrs Rusdal said Mrs Chaudhry initially told paramedics the child had accidentally fallen into a bucket of water but she added: "Her story did not seem very likely or plausible."
It is thought that detectives were baffled as to how the toddler could have drowned in the bucket without it toppling over.
Ms Rusdal said Mr Qureshi, 33, was interviewed in London just before Christmas, a couple of months after Mrs Chaudhry changed her story and implicated him.
She told the BBC: "He was not arrested but was interviewed as a suspect. He confirmed he witnessed it on Skype but not that he instructed her to do it."
Ms Rusdal said Mr Qureshi said the idea of putting the child under water was something they came up with together while discussing ways to discipline the child, who was still awake at 3am.
She said a formal extradition request had not yet been submitted for Mr Qureshi, who is a British citizen.
Mrs Chaudhry's lawyer, Geir Hovland, told the BBC: "It is correct that my client has been preliminarily charged with manslaughter. On behalf of my client I strongly deny this charge, as it is not according to the evidence of the case.
"I cannot go into details about this for the moment but it is correct that my client and Mr Qureshi had contact on Skype (on) this evening and night.
"On behalf of my client I want to express that we want Mr Qureshi to be extradited from UK and face trial in Norway.
"I do not want to comment on the relationship between these two and their roles in this tragic case."
Mrs Chaudhry's husband - the children's father - has separated from her and is living in Pakistan.
Ms Rusdal said Mrs Chaudhry and Mr Qureshi were in an "internet relationship but had only met once".
She said the Norwegian authorities would like to try them together but it depended on the extradition of Mr Qureshi.