Muhammad Arslan, 27 of Natal Road, Ilford, east London denied charges of murder and perverting the course of justice by concealing a body at the Old Bailey on Tuesday. Arslan is charged with the murder of 21-year-old Pakistani national Hina Bashir whose body was discovered in a suitcase on July 17, six days after she went missing. Police used sniffer dogs to locate the body in Upminster after following tracks consistent with suitcase wheels.
Appearing at the Old Bailey via video link from Belmarsh Prison, Arslan spoke only to confirm his name and enter his pleas and used an interpreter throughout the proceedings.
Ms Bashir has been working at Queen Mary University after moving from Pakistan on a student visa to study business management at Coventry University London.
She attended her first shift at 7 am on July 11, but failed to show up for the remainder of the week.
Her father called her employer concerned about her whereabouts before calling the Metropolitan Police who launched an investigation.
On July 17, her decomposing body was found in a fetal position inside a large suitcase dumped in a ditch in Folkes Lane, Upminster, east London.
Speaking following her death prosecutor Ben Holt said: “They located the suitcase in a small ditch and a police dog gave an indication. The bag was opened at 1am on July 17 and Ms Bashir’s decomposing body was found inside.”
Reacting to the news London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was “devastated” by the murder.
Labour MP for Ilford South Sam Tarry added: “Yet another horrendous act of violence in our community.
“Enough is enough; this epidemic of gender-based violence must be brought to an end. I will speak again in Parliament about this and urge this Govt to act.
“My thoughts are with Hina’s family.”
A trial, expected to last three weeks, has been set at the Old Bailey on June 5, 2023.