A local court in Islamabad on Thursday indicted 12 suspects, including the prime suspect, Zahir Jaffer, in the Noor Muqqaddam murder case. After Additional Sessions Judge Ata Rabbani announced the indictment, all the accused in the murder case pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The court also framed charges against Zahir’s parents, Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Adamjee, their three servants, Iftikhar, Jan Muhammad and Jameel and six Therapy Works staffers named Tahir Zahoor, Amjad, Dilip Kumar, Abdul Haq, Wamiq and Samar Abbas.
The trial court also summoned the prosecution witnesses on October 20. Of the 12 accused, the six Therapy Works employees, who were on bail, appeared before the court in personal capacity while the remaining accused including Zahir Jaffer were brought to the court from Adiala jail.
Counsel Shah Khawar and Public Prosecutor Hassan Abbas appeared before the court on behalf of the plaintiff. When defence lawyer Rizwan Abbasi started giving arguments seeking to stop the indictment of the accused before the provision of documents, Zahir Jaffa said asked the judge, can I speak freely?”. He said that he has the right to speak freely.
During the hearing, Zahir repeatedly said that Rizwan Abbasi was not his counsel and he should be given a chance to speak. At this, lawyer Rizwan Abbasi said that he was representing the prime suspect’s father Zahir Jaffer in the case. The lawyer argued that the evidence against his client was not enough to convict him.
Asad Jamal, Asmat Adamjee’s lawyer, said the challan did not contain a complete record and hence charges could not be framed without providing all documents to the suspects. At one point during the hearing, Shaukat Muqqadam, Noor Muqqadam’s father, told the reporters in the courtroom that Zahir Jaffar was lying.
Zahir Jaffar alleged that the suspect standing next to him in the courtroom (Therapy Works employees) barged into his house and beat him. Zahir said he was at his house when other people broke into it. “I told these people (Therapy Works employees) to wait outside, but they came inside”.
At one instance during the hearing, Zahir Jaffer admitted he had a fight with Noor Muqqadam and he committed a mistake for which he sought an apology. The prime suspect said Noor was “his girl, and they were in a relationship”. He said that “sacrifice was also a ritual in Islam and Noor wanted to sacrifice her life and presented herself for the sacrifice”.
Zahir also asked for forgiveness from Shaukat during the hearing. “My life is in danger. Have mercy on me,” he said. The prime suspect repeatedly asked the judge if he was framing the charge against him or not. Zahir said he did not want to go to jail as the guards and other people were allegedly torturing him there.
During the hearing, the prime suspect repeatedly interfered while his father’s lawyer gave arguments. Zahir Jaffar said that he has apprised his mother about the conditions under which he has been kept in jail for the past three to four months.
Another accused, Iftikhar, one of the prime suspect’s household staffers, told the court that they (Zahir and Noor) had been friends for the past two years and she used to visit his house. He said, “I am poor… I had no idea that this would happen.
He pleaded to pardon him. He said that the pistol belonged to his father. “Either hang me or forgive me. I cannot live in jail, as I will be beaten there. He said Noor, and him had a fight and it was his mistake and the victim was angry too.
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