This is the first picture of a baby girl who died in a hotel room in Kazakhstan after her British father allegedly beat her so badly that her brain was crushed.
Sophia Barakat, aged one, is seen in the arms of 22-year-old mother Madina, who police say was also beaten during the attack.
Investigators have charged father Mohamed Barakat, 41, a Hong Kong Airlines pilot, over the death, which happened at the five-star Intercontinental Hotel in Almaty in November last year.
Mohamed and Madina both deny the murder charge, saying the girl’s death was ‘essentially an accident’ and that police have fabricated evidence.
This is the first image to emerge of one-year-old Sophia Barakat, being held by mother Madina, who died of brain injuries at a hotel in Kazakhstan last year
Father Mohamed Barakat (left and right, on his wedding day and with his pregnant wife) is accused of beating the girl to death in a drunken rage after attacking Madina
Pictures also show the couple at their wedding party in Almaty which followed a marriage in Hong Kong four years ago.
One image shows Madina with the pilot when she was pregnant with Sophia, and another shows him with his Kazakh father-in-law Abdushukur Abdullayev.
The British man was detained after his distraught wife ran into the lobby of the plush hotel ‘screaming for help’ early in the morning, according to the indictment.
Barakat is accused of repeatedly punching his wife in the head in a drunken rage before she escaped into the corridor.
Sophia awoke because of her parents’ fight and the pilot then turned his fury on the one-year-old, according to a report by Astana TV.
‘He walked to the baby’s cot, took his daughter Sophia in his hands and forcefully hit the walls and doors of the hotel room with her head.
‘Having made sure Sophia Barakat was not displaying signs of life, he put her on the floor by the entrance door of the hotel room.’
This account is strongly disputed by Barakat’s defence team.
Forensic experts established the child suffered multiple injuries and had no chance of survival, a remote session of the court hearing was told.
Police say Mohamed beat his wife in their room at the five-star Intercontinental Hotel in Almaty, Kazakhstan, then slammed his daughter into the walls when she began crying
Her skull was fractured and her brain ‘crushed’, it was reported.
The alleged attack, which took place in a eighth floor hotel room, followed Barakat’s return from an all-night drinking session with a male friend.
It was also stated that the couple had rowed over a failed apartment deal in Almaty.
They had been hoping to move to Madina’s homeland, with him getting a job with Astana Airlines, a Kazakh-British carrier.
She told the court: ‘I have repeated many times that Mohamed could not have killed Sophia. From my statement it is clear that I was shocked, scared and stressed.
‘I had lost my daughter under terrible circumstances, and I did not have a lawyer.
‘The police took advantage of this, forced me to testify. They deprived me of the right not to testify against my husband.’
The pilot’s wife said she had been ‘threatened’ with being made a murder suspect if she did not testify against her ‘wonderful’ British husband.
‘The prosecutors deliberately ignored my statement that I did not suspect Mohamed of murder,’ she said, adding that he ‘would have never hurt Sophia’.
Both Mohamed and Madina deny the murder charge, saying Sophia’s death was ‘essentially an accident’ and that police have fabricated evidence (pictured, the detention centre where Mohamed has been held since last year)
The pilot accused of murder ‘is a gentle and caring person, a wonderful husband and father’, she said.
‘I love and respect Mohamed. Sophia meant the entire world to him and me. I lost his support at the most difficult moment in my life.
‘Mohamed was very responsible. For the first six months of his daughter’s life, he bathed her himself, because I was afraid and I had no experience.’
The defendant’s British sisters Sarah and Nasrin Barakat claimed the pilot’s rights had been ‘violated’ by the Kazakh authorities.
They insisted he was not a murderer.
They claimed the pilot had been the victim of a ‘witch hunt’ accusing the detective leading the case of ‘grandstanding’ to ‘become famous for arresting a respected British airline captain, accusing him of murder’.
This had ‘nothing to do with justice’.
The court heard Barakat suffered from ‘attacks’ and could faint when stressed, the court has been told.
Earlier, his previous lawyer had argued that he had accidentally fallen on the child when she died last October.