Wednesday June 29, 2022

Nazia Hassan didn’t die of foul play: Scotland Yard

August 14, 2021
File photo
File photo

LONDON: The legendary ‘Disco Deewane’ singer Nazia Hassan didn’t die of poison, or any kind of foul play as a high profile investigation by Scotland Yard established that the allegations of poisoning, slavery and domestic violence lacked merit, the UK official record shows.

The legendary late singer’s brother Zoheb Hasan has sparked a new controversy by referring to a statement by Nazia Hassan - that the late singer’s husband and famous Karachi industrialist Mirza Ishtiaq Baig poisoned her and kept her as a hostage but the record kept by the UK authorities established through an official verdict after a joint investigation by the Scotland Yard detectives, a team of doctors and the North London’s Coroner Mr W Dolman, that Nazia Hassan died from “natural causes” and there was no involvement of poison or any other substance.

Nazia Hassan died on Aug 13, 2000, but the authorities released her body five months later on Jan 9, 2001, after a forensic investigation led by Scotland Yard’s specialist team. The death certificate, after a thorough investigation into the causes of death, was issued on Jan 9, 2001, by local Brent Council’s Registrar S Palombo.

It was established by the investigation team that Nazia Hassan’s cause of death was pulmonary thromboembolism; deep vein thrombosis; and carcinoma of left lung. Zoheb Hassan and other family members of Nazia Hassan, including father Bashir Hassan and mother Munazza Hassan, had claimed that Nazia Hassan and Ishtiaq Baig had already divorced at the time of the singer’s death but the UK authorities wrote in the certificate that Nazia Hassan was a singer by occupation and that she was “wife of Ishtiaq Baig of 57-Golders Green, London, NW11” at the time of her death and both had shared the same address -– that was then and now owned by Mr Ishtiaq Baig. Zoheb Hassan told The News that Nazia had poison in her body because the chemotherapy itself was done through poisoning.

“The doctors couldn’t differentiate between the poisons and as a result, the report was inconclusive.” However, the records of the UK authorities contradict the claim of Zoheb Hassan and the original allegation.

The death certificate noted that Nazia Hassan died on Aug 13, 2000, at the age of 38 at the North London Hospice in Finchley – a care home dedicated to patients of special needs, the elderly and those who always need a carer. The inquest was held on Dec 11, 2000, after the Scotland Yard detectives completed their investigation into the allegations against Ishtiaq Baig and found no truth or substance to these allegations: deciding to take no action against British national Ishtiaq Baig, never questioned or charged him.

Safdar Iqbal, a solicitor of England and Wales, said that the death certificate following the relevant Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death (MCCD) issued by the Brent Council leaves nothing to imagination and speculation.

The lawyer said: “The death certificate is unequivocal. It evidently confirms that Nazia Hassan had died of natural causes, was not poisoned at any stage, was not detained illegally and her death had nothing to do with what is being alleged now by her family.

“If there was a foul play by Mr Ishtiaq Baig, her husband, in any form then the Scotland Yard would have taken action and the coroner’s investigation would have pinned the blame if there was anything suspicious. The police would have then on the face of facts, arrested and charged the suspect for homicide and slavery resulting into maximum of life sentence if there was any truth to these allegations.”

Safdar Iqbal added: “Poisoning someone is punishable under Offences Against the Person Act 1861 or by law” or detaining unlawfully someone against their will which amount to slavery is also a serious crime.

Farhana Rathore, a solicitor from Milton Keynes, who deals with immigration and family matters, said it’s possible that Nazia Hassan may have made allegations in writing and or orally against her husband Ishtiaq Baig, as it happens in marriages or relationships, but the evidence shows that the police didn’t take these allegations as cogent for lack of evidence and took no action against Mr Ishtiaq Baig, treating the allegations as nothing more than one person’s word against another’s lacking evidence. The medical record shows that Mr Ishtiaq Baig and Nazia Hassan were still married when the singer died, however, there could be a question mark over the subsistence of their relationship.”

A spokesman for Scotland Yard told The News and Geo on Friday that the death certificate of Nazia Hassan suggests “natural causes” of death. The police spokesman said that “there would not have been any police investigation following the inquest”. The spokesman said that there is “no record of the police involvement in this case” after the inquest – which means the file was closed by the police once the natural causes of the death were established.

The News understands that the Scotland Yard carried out, after the singer’s death, a thorough investigation after Nazia Hassan’s family had submitted a statement recorded by Nazia eight days before her death.

In the dramatic statement recorded before her lawyers and witnesses, the late singer had alleged that she thought she was being subjected to slow poisoning. The contents of Nazia’s detailed statement, which stretched over several pages, were also known to doctors treating Nazia Hassan for her cancer. She had made allegations of domestic violence as well in her statement.

Nazia had alleged that she was from time to time given poisonous substances which gradually damaged her body and internal organs. Nazia Hassan had instructed her lawyers that in the event of her death, police should be asked to carry out a full investigation. Her lawyers had told police of these instructions soon and an investigation started while her body was kept at a mortuary in North London.

The Scotland Yard detectives took control of Nazia's parents' home in the North London area as well as Ishtiaq Baig’s Golders Green home for many days, as Nazia had been living at both the addresses prior to being shifted to the care home. The police took out forensic tests at the addresses to determine if there was poisoning involved. While the police carried out investigations, the family of Nazia and her husband were told to stay away from their addresses for the police to finish the forensic testing. The police investigation found that the allegations of poisoning and slavery were false. Nazia and Ishtiaq Baig’s marriage was solemnised at the Wandsworth Registrar Office in London Borough of Wandsworth on July 28, 1995.