‘I don’t want to forgive them for anything. They cut my heart.’ Mother of Shehzad Luqman, murdered on his way to work, calls for the harshest punishment available for the two men accused of his killing
The parents of Shehzad Luqman, a 27-year-old Pakistani worker stabbed to death this time last year as he cycled to work, have testified at the trial of two men accused of his murder.
“I don’t want to forgive them. They cut my heart,” said his mother, Shukran Bibi, who cried continuously during the hearing before Athens first instance criminal court.
Shehzad Luqman was murdered in the western Athens district of Petralona on 17 January 2013, as he was going to work on his bicycle. Christos Steriopoulos, 29, and Dionysis Liakopoulos, 25, riding on a motorbike and carrying butterfly knives, attacked and stabbed him seven times. They were immediately arrested and confessed to their crime.
Although the defendants deny any involvement with neonazi Golden Dawn – police found party literature in their homes – the case is one of those included in the investigation by special magistrates into charges that Golden Dawn is a criminal organisation.
The mother of the deceased, who arrived in Athens last month with her husband to attend the trial, called on the court to give the accused the harshest punishment possible.
“They killed my child who was on his way to earn his bread and have told various lies. I don’t want to forgive them for anything. They cut my heart. My child was tremendously good and had no quarrel with anyone,” she told the judges.
The woman testified that, after her son found work in Greece, he claimed everything was fine. “But later, he said things had gone wrong. That they were being hit, beaten and killed. He said he was very afraid. I asked him to return but he told me that he wanted to repay the loan he had taken. They killed him because he was different; because he was an immigrant.” As he addressed the court, Kantin Hussein, the victim’s father, also broke down as he described why his son came to Greece:
“He came to Greece because of poverty. He was going to work at 3am when nationalists stopped him and stabbed him. I had told him to return home but he insisted on sending us money as loans so his sisters could get married.”
When asked the prosecutor if his son could have started a fight and generally if the 27 year old had ever been the cause of trouble, the victim’s father said that the child was not quarrelsome. He said that it took a month for his son to reach Greece from Pakistan and that it cost him €6,500. In response to a question from the prosecutor, he added that wages in Pakistan amounted to “€80 per month for 12 hours a day.”
When asked by the family’s lawyer whether he thought his son was killed because he was Pakistani or for another reason, the father replied: “He was killed because he was an immigrant and that’s why they went out with knives”. According to the lawyer, the victim had €5, a mobile phone and a small talisman on his person when he was killed. His father explained that the charm was for “good luck at work”.
After they completed their depositions, the lawyer for Dionysis Liakopoulos, one of the defendants, expressed his deepest condolences to the family of the victim.
Weeping, the father replied: “They want to sympathise with me? They have cut me up inside.”
The trial continues on 17 January.