A judge has discharged the jury hearing the case of a TikTok influencer and others accused of murdering two men who died in a car crash, after an “irregularity” arose.
Social media personality Mahek Bukhari, her mother Ansreen Bukhari, a third woman and five men were on trial at Leicester Crown Court, accused of two counts of murder and two alternative charges of manslaughter.
It has been alleged that the defendants were involved in the deaths of Saqib Hussain and Mohammed Hashim Ijazuddin, both 21, from Banbury, Oxfordshire, whose car crashed on the A46 near Leicester just after midnight on February 11.
With the trial having progressed for more than six weeks, Mr Justice Saini said there will now be a retrial in front of a fresh jury in the new year.
He said the discharge was “by reason of jury irregularity”, adding that it had nothing to do with any alleged conduct of the defendants, or the friends and family of either Mr Hussain or Mr Ijazuddin, “but was purely internal to the jury”.
Ansreen Bukhari, 47, and her 23-year-old social media influencer daughter Mahek, both of George Eardley Close, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, deny murder and manslaughter.
Also denying any wrongdoing are Rekan Karwan, 28, of Tomlin Road, Leicester, Raees Jamal, 22, of Lingdale Close, Loughborough, and Natasha Akhtar, 22, of Alum Rock Road, Birmingham.
Sanaf Gulammustafa, 22, of Littlemore Close, Ameer Jamal, 27, of Catherine Street, and Mohammed Patel, 20, of Braybrooke Road, all Leicester, also deny the charges.