Trial begins over mob killing of Afghan woman

Trial of at least 49 men accused in brutal murder of woman accused of burning the Quran formally starts in Kabul

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The first trial of dozens of men, including several policemen, accused of involvement in the mob killing of a woman has begun in Afghanistan.

The twenty seven-year-old woman, named Farkhunda, was accused of burning a Quran and beaten to death on March 19 near a shrine in central Kabul as police allegedly looked on. Her body was then set on fire..

The trial, expected to last two days, is being broadcast live on television.

The court has heard that the several policemen on trial are being charged with neglecting their duties and failing to prevent the assault, although some of them are suspected of actually participating.

One of the men on trial, identified only as Sharifullah, described his role in the attack.

"I kicked her once or twice but did not participate in the whole thing," he testified.

"Others were asking for a match box, so I gave them my lighter."

The murder sparked several unprecedented protests in Kabul and other major cities of Afghanistan.

Safiullah Mojadedi, head of the Primary Court, called for senior officials - including the Kabul Police Chief and the Interior Ministry's chief criminal investigator - to attend Sunday's court session. He also ordered the arrest of another policeman who allegedly freed a suspect.

TRTWorld and agencies