Trial court judge Atta Rabbani has appointed a public prosecutor to plead on behalf of Zahir Jaffer, the prime suspect in the Noor Muqqaddam murder case.
The public prosecutor will represent Zahir Jaffer during the trial as the suspect had failed to hire counsel to plead his case.
The trial court said that all related documents of the case had been provided to the prime suspect but he failed to hire a lawyer to represent him during the trial.
The trial court appointed Shehryar Nawaz as the state counsel to represent Zahir Jaffer during the trial.
The trial court has also allowed Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to get the mobile phone screen of Zahir Jaffer repaired or changed.
According to the documents available with The Express Tribune, the Investigation Officer (IO) Abdul Sattar had filed a petition with the trial court on October 7, seeking permission to repair the suspect’s mobile phone screen after the FIA cybercrime wind said that Zahir Jaffer’s laptop and mobile phone were recovered with its screen damaged. The FIA had sought permission from the court to either repair or change a new screen.
The trial court has allowed the permission to get the screen repaired or install a new one.
The trial court has instructed counsel of suspects and the prosecutor to appear on the day of indictment on October 14.
The court has expressed the hope that the suspects will not seek a delay in commencing the proceedings as the Islamabad High Court has set two months deadline to wind up the trial.
Earlier, the trial court postponed the trial of the suspects after their lawyers sought statements, testimonies and other related evidence against the defendants before the initiation of the trial. The defence lawyers said that the provision of all related evidence and testimonies to the defendants was a pre-requisite for a fair trial under section 10.
Read more Zahir Jaffer's parents move SC for bail
Noor Muqqadam, the 27-year-old daughter of a former Pakistani diplomat, was murdered in Islamabad’s F-7/4 neighbourhood on July 20. Zahir Jaffer was arrested at the crime scene on the same day. The incident had also sparked public outrage and grabbed media attention.
Zahir Jaffer’s parents and their servants are also under arrest and charge-sheeted on the charge of abetment and hiding evidence.
According to the challan, Therapy Works employees tried to cover up the crime and destroyed the evidence. A Therapy Works employee, who was injured by Jaffer, did not even register the incident and it had been mentioned as a road accident in his medical slip, the interim challan said.
It said that photos and fingerprints stored in the DVR also belong to the suspect.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 10th, 2021.
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