Police have revealed that Portuguese citizen Elisabete Pereira was murdered in a frenzied attack in England last month. Authorities believe that her sister’s jilted Iraqi lover murdered her. It is alleged that the man in question, Iraqi citizen Omid Bakhshi, 28, killed Elisabete because she opposed his planned marriage to her younger sister, Maria.
Bakhshi had apparently entered Britain with a false passport and it is believed that he wanted to marry Elisabete’s younger sister, Maria, so he could acquire European citizenship. Initially, Maria had wanted to marry Bakhshi but, gradually, exposure to harsh Islamic laws made the sisters decide to return to Portugal. It was this rejection that prompted Bakhshi to react with violence.
It was in September last year that Elisabete left for England in search of better working conditions. Her sister, Maria, followed her after signing a temporary employment contract with an English firm in Leicester. “As Maria was only 19 at the time, Elisabete felt a certain responsibility for her,” said their mother.
Their destination was a food factory in Leicester. It was there that the sisters got to know two Iraqis, also immigrants in England. One of them, Bakhshi, showed a strong interest in the younger sister and, after courting her for a time, began discussing the possibility of marriage.
Meanwhile, the two sisters had changed jobs, working in Leicester Hospital. Elisabete, concerned about her younger sister, phoned her parents in Portugal to inform them about Bakhshi’s intentions. Back in their hometown of Almada her family was worried. “We became even more concerned when we found out that he wanted to marry Maria to gain documents that would permit him to remain in Europe,” her mother revealed.
Bakhshi never offered money, claiming genuine love for Maria. But at this stage the family were unaware that Bakhshi faced the possibility of repatriation to Iraq as he had been found to be in possession of a false passport. “Elisabete told us not to worry about the wedding because, in Muslim culture, it is the husband who takes care of everything,” said the sisters’ mother.
However, before the wedding could take place, the relationship ended. Elisabete supported her younger sister’s decision and the siblings decided to return to Portugal. But, on April 15, Bakhshi entered Elisabete’s room and hit her 23 times after tying up her sister. The sisters had made their last phone call home to Portugal the previous evening at 9pm, announcing their intention to return home. According to family members, they sounded frightened. They were enquiring about airfares, but had decided to wait another fortnight to claim their last monthly salary before flying home. It was a flight that Elisabete was never destined to take.
Police theorise that Bakhshi blamed Elisabete for turning her younger sister against him. Bakhshi was arrested the day after the murder and is now being detained in a British prison, pending trial.