Shahzeb Khan murder case: Defence counsel concludes arguments

Suspects’ lawyer highlights contradiction in statements of witnesses.

Our Correspondent May 16, 2013
Shahzeb Khan. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The counsel of Shahrukh Jatoi concluded his final arguments in the Shahzeb Khan murder case in Anti-Terrorism Court III on Thursday.

The counsel, Shaukat Zubaidi, appeared before Judge Ghulam Mustafa Memon who is conducting the trial on a day-to-day basis.

Shahrukh Jatoi, Nawab Siraj Ali Talpur, his younger brother Nawab Sajjad Ali Talpur, and a house servant, Ghulam Murtaza Lashari, had been charged with killing 20-year-old Shahzeb Khan on the night of Dec 24.

The counsel said that all those who recorded their testimonies against the suspect in the case were ‘set-up witnesses’ and no independent witnesses came forward to testify. “Many of the witnesses were Shahzeb’s friends.”

Zubaidi told the court that there were contradictions, variations and improvements in witnesses’ statements that were recorded before the police and the court. Zubaidi pleaded that benefit of the doubt be given to the suspects.

While elaborating other uncertainties, Zubaidi said that empties and the forensic science lab’s report were also doubtful. He alleged that the case property was tempered by the officer investigating the case.

To support the claim that the weapon seized from the vehicle allegedly used in the crime didn’t belong to the prime suspect of the case, Zubaidi said that the place where the vehicle was parked was accessible to the general public and anyone could have placed the gun in the vehicle.

Finally, Zubaidi pleaded the court to acquit all four suspects of the case as no charges have been proved against them.

Following the arguments, the hearing was adjourned till Friday.

In the next hearing, the counsel of Siraj Talpur, Mehmood Qureshi, will present his arguments in the case. The arguments will continue until the defence counsels and the lawyers for the state conclude the matter. The court would then announce the verdict.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2013.


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