British pilot ‘who killed his one-year-old girl’ in Kazakhstan goes on hunger strike in ‘protest against judge’ as court hears he was a drug user and was ‘in a dream’ when child died
- Airbus 330 captain Mohamed Barakat is accused of killing the one-year-old girl
- He faces 20 years’ jail if convicted of banging her against a wall in drunken rage
- After failing to have the trial judge replaced he says he has stopped eating
A British pilot accused of murdering his one-year-old daughter says he has gone on hunger strike in protest against the judge in his trial in Kazakhstan.
Airbus 330 captain Mohamed Barakat, 41, faces up to 20 years in jail if convicted of murdering baby Sophia by banging her against a wall in a drunken rage at the five-star Intercontinental Hotel in Almaty.
The court has also heard claims of drug use by Barakat, who denies murder and described his memories of his daughter’s death as being ‘like in a dream’.
In an exchange with his wife Madina, 22, ahead of a virtual court hearing, Barakat said he had gone on hunger strike in custody after the defence team’s repeated failures to have the trial judge replaced.
British airline pilot Mohamed Barakat appears at a virtual court hearing where he revealed that he had gone on hunger strike in protest at the judge in his murder trial
Baby Sophia, pictured with her mother Madina, died at the hotel in Kazakhstan in what prosecutors claim was murder
Barakat’s lawyers accuse judge Bakhytkhan Bakirbayev of bias and multiple procedural errors.
‘I stopped eating since Tuesday. I’m on hunger strike,’ he said. ‘I am protesting against the judge. ‘I am not going to eat anymore if they continue to do this. I’ve had enough.’
Barakat – a pilot with Hong Kong Airlines – is accused of hitting the child’s head against the wall in his suite in a drunken rage after a night out with a friend.
The court has heard evidence that Madina sobbed that her husband had ‘killed my child – he hit her’ when she carried the motionless child to the lobby of the hotel seeking help.
The court heard how he told a psychiatrist during a pretrial examination that the events around his British daughter’s death had been ‘like in a dream’.
‘(I felt) I had to pay for my sins for drinking (alcohol),’ he was quoted as saying. I saw the word Allah. I saw my mother praying. (I saw my child ) falling slowly like a leaf.’
In more recent testimony, she has denied her husband killed the baby, and he has pleaded not guilty to murder.
Barakat, pictured with his Kazakh wife Madina Abdullayeva, is accused of killing their one-year-old daughter in a drunken rage
In an interrogation some six months after the child died, Madina said: ‘I was not in the (hotel) room and wasn’t able to see if Mohamed had beaten our daughter.’
There were ‘no bruises or haematomas on her skin before the ambulance arrived.’
She said: ‘I don’t believe my husband killed our daughter as there are no reasons and motives for this.’
In earlier testimony soon after the death she had said Barakat ‘beat me’ forcing her to flee the hotel room and seek help from hotel staff, the court heard.
When she opened the door, the baby was lying unconscious on the floor.
‘I picked up my daughter and went out,’ she said, before going down in the lift to the lobby telling staff he had ‘killed’ the girl.
Barakat is accused of fatally injuring his daughter at the five-star Intercontinental hotel in Almaty, Kazakhstan (pictured)
Hotel security chief Madi Alimkhanov told the court: ‘The child was all blue, the eyes were closed.’
The girl did not show any signs of life. The woman shouted: ‘He killed my child, he hit her’.’
The murder trial in Almaty also evidence from Madina that the pilot had previously used cocaine, and had a stash of cannabis in the hotel where the girl died.
‘Earlier he used drugs, namely cocaine. but he controlled himself,’ she said.
The day before her daughter’s death Barakat had shown her that he had cannabis hidden in a ‘hatch’ in the hotel room.
‘He got this marijuana from friends,’ she said.
But she denied he had taken it in the room, and police did not find any drugs during a search.
‘I never saw Mohamed consuming drugs,’ she said.