Court now fixes Oct 14 for indictment of Noor murder accused

Zahir Jaffer requests court to be allowed to speak; judge tells he will be heard during trial


Our Correspondent October 07, 2021
Zahir Jaffer, suspect in Noor Mukadam's brutal murder, being brought to the courtroom. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB

ISLAMABAD:

A local court in Islamabad fixed October 14 for indictment of the accused in the Noor Mukadam murder case on Thursday, and rejected the accused's request to be provided digital evidence.

The hearing was presided over by Additional Sessions judge Ata Rabbani. The main accused, Zahir Jaffer, and six others were produced before the court.

During the hearing, Zahir told the court he wanted to approach the rostrum and speak, saying “I apologise”.

The judge told the accused that he will be heard during the trial and ordered the police to take the him back to the Bakshi Khana - a temporary lockup situated in the district courts.

A day earlier, the sessions court had adjourned the indictment of 12 accused in the murder case for a day as the accused filed fresh petitions claiming they had not been provided complete evidence.

The police produced the main accused Zahir Zakir Jaffer, his parents Zakir Jaffer and Ismat Adamjee, CEO of Therapy Works Tahir Zahoor and six other employees before the court.

During the hearing, the superior judge questioned Zakir about hiring a counsel. “Now that the evidence is presented, you need a lawyer. Is Rizwan Abbasi your lawyer?” the judge asked.

Read Noor Mukadam murder case: A timeline

“I do not know maybe my brother has hired one,” Zahir stated.

Separately, the parents approached the Supreme Court (SC) for post-arrest bail after the IHC rejected their bail plea last week. Zakir and Asmat had filed two separate pleas in the top court through their counsel Khawaja Haris.

It may be noted here that Zahir and Asmat are in police custody for “aiding and abetting” their son in the murder of Noor Mukadam.

The IHC in its order had said the parents knew that Zahir Jaffer had taken Noor hostage but they did not inform the police. The family’s watchman made it clear that he had alerted Zakir Jaffar about the situation, the court’s decision had stated.

As per the IHC ruling, Zahir Jaffar maintained in his statement that he had informed his father before the murder, whether his statement is acceptable or not is for the trial court to decide.

The court maintained that evidence of direct assistance in aiding and abetting a crime cannot, as a rule, apply everywhere. Aiding and abetting can also be indirect, the court noted, adding that in such a situation factual evidence is sufficient.

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