Pair on trial in Norway for 'online killing' of infant

A Pakistan man tries to connect to the Skype network on his mobile in the port city of Karachi on 3 October 2013. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ms Chaudry said she abused her daughter after receiving instructions online from her long distance lover in the UK

The trial of a Norwegian woman charged with drowning her 22-month-old daughter in a bucket of water while being instructed by her British lover via Skype has opened in Norway.

The man, who was extradited to Norway in 2012, has appeared in court charged with murder alongside the mother.

Yasmin Chaudry, 28, and Ammaz Omer Qureshi, 35, have both denied the charge.

But Ms Chaudry has pleaded guilty to assault.

She told the Oslo District Court the abuse of her daughter had taken place over several months, each time under online instruction from Mr Qureshi.

He denies any involvement.

Subjected to abuse

The two were in a long-distance relationship, and Ms Chaudry alleges Mr Qureshi told her to discipline her daughter from an earlier marriage to teach her respect for adults.

"I had to convince myself that [the abuse] would secure her a better future and that the abuse was only a short period of her life," Ms Chaudry told the court.

After twice having had her head held under water in October 2010, the girl was taken to hospital in a serious condition. She died a few hours later.

The mother first told medical staff the girl had fallen into the bucket by accident, but later admitted the abuse.

The court was told how the 22-month-old girl had been subjected to abuse over a six-month period leading up to her death, including having her legs tied, being force-fed chili powder, being made to sleep on the floor and being deliberately kept awake late at night.

Ms Chaudry told the court she had been crying while hitting her daughter, and that she had never abused her on her own initiative - only on instruction from Mr Qureshi.

The trial is scheduled to continue until 8 April.

A guilty murder verdict could see the couple sent to prison for 21 years. The maximum sentence for child abuse is six years.

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