Zahir, others to be indicted today

IHC directed trial court to wrap up Noor murder case in two months


Saqib Bashir October 14, 2021
Zahir Jaffer being taken into police custody. PHOTO: Screengrab

ISLAMABAD:

An additional and sessions court will indict 12 suspects including Zahir Jaffer in the Noor Muqqadam murder case on Thursday (today).

The Islamabad High Court has ordered the trial court to complete the proceedings in two months.

Additional Sessions Judge Atta Rabbani had fixed October 14 to formally charge sheet the suspects. Six suspects including prime suspect Zahir Zahir will be produced before the court from Adiala Jail while six workers of Therapy Works, currently on bail, will also join the crucial hearing.

The police had sent Noor Muqqadam and Zahir Jaffer’s mobile phones and laptops to the FIA for forensic examination and the report was still pending.

The court had distributed copies of the challans to the suspects on September 23 and again on October 6.

Read Zahir gets public prosecutor to plead his case

However, the court had dismissed suspects’ pleas for the provision of CCTV footage and digital evidence during the earlier hearing.

This rejection of their plea has been separately challenged in the Islamabad High Court by Therapy Works CEO Tahir Zahoor and the prime suspect’s parents, Zakir Jaffer and Ismat Adamjee.

IHC judge Aamer Farooq will hear the petition of Tahir Zahoor today.

The petitioner has pleaded that the high court annulled the decision of the sessions court issued on October 7.

He has sought the provision of all documents before the start of the trial, including digital evidence and CCTV footage of the incident.

Zahir’s parents have also challenged the indictment date of October 14 and sought revocation of the trial court’s decision. They have also maintained that the trial court did not provide them CCTV footage and other evidence.

Earlier, the trial court had postponed the trial of the suspects after their lawyers sought statements, testimonies and other related evidence against the suspects before the initiation of the trial. The defence lawyers had contended that the provision of all related evidence and testimonies to the defendants was a pre-requisite for a fair trial under section 10.

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.

Read more Zahir Jaffer's parents move SC for bail

Zahir Jaffer’s parents and their servants are also under arrest on charges 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.

According to the August 12 DNA report, the prime suspect was found to have raped the victim. Reports said that no effects of poison or drugs were found in the victim.

The interim challan had also said that the victim jumped from the washroom and ran away towards the gate. However, the janitor at the gate did not help her.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2021.

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