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December 11, 2019

Just before indictment, DHA double murder case moved to court in jail

Karachi

December 11, 2019

The provincial home department on Tuesday informed a district and sessions court about the transfer of the DHA double murder case to a court in the central prison for security concerns.

A letter written by the Sindh Home Department to district South’s additional sessions judge Ramesh Chandar Rajput read that unwanted incident could occur during the hearing at the City Court. It, however, did not explain which court in the central prison will proceed with the case.

Atif Zaman and his brother Adil Zaman have been booked for murdering anchorperson Mureed Abbas and Khizar Hayat over a monetary dispute in Defence Housing Authority area on July 9 earlier this year.

On the previous hearing, the court could not frame charges against the suspects because police did not produce them from jail. The court had adjourned the indictment until Tuesday.

The case has been facing similar setbacks since it started. Earlier, an anti-terrorism court had moved the case back to the sessions court observing that it did not fit in the jurisdiction of the Anti-Terrorism Act. The decision was a blow to police and the prosecution’s recommendation which came only after the prime suspect, Atif, contradicted the police’s claim about his confession before a judicial magistrate.

Atif instead said he wanted to contest the charges but police were pressurising him to admit the crime. He was arrested after he allegedly tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in his apartment following the alleged murders.

According to the charge sheet, Atif called Abbas and Hayat, who were his business partners, to different places, a few hundred meters away, in DHA area on the pretext of returning some of the amount he owed them. He first allegedly shot Hayat at a signal and later went to kill Abbas in an office. CCTV footage showed Adil accompanying Atif during this spree. It was transpired later that the murder weapon belonged to Adil.

But Adil said he did not know of his brother’s intention to murder. After the incident, Adil dropped Atif at his apartment and went into hiding in Balakot. However, police arrested him a couple of months ago.

According to police, a number of people, including the victims, had invested money in a tyre business of Atif. But the suspect had not been paying his investors for months saying that his business had suffered some losses. Due to a shady nature of the scheme, recently, the National Accountability Bureau had started inquiry into the apparent scam.