close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
July 12, 2020

When will DHA double murder trial begin?

Karachi

July 12, 2020

The day when the accused and their counsel will all together be present in the courtroom, the court will begin the trial, the state prosecutor in the DHA double murder case said on Saturday after the court once again adjourned the indictment.

Atif Zaman and his brother Adil Zaman are booked for the murders of anchorperson Mureed Abbas and construction contractor Khizar Hayat, who were killed minutes apart in Defence Housing Authority on July 9, 2019.

Atif was arrested soon after the incident while Adil had been on the run for five months until police traced him to his native town near Abbottabad, but their trial could not begin due to dramatic delays.

In the Saturday hearing, Adil, who was recently released from prison on bail, appeared but the jail authorities did not produce the prime suspect Atif from his cell, citing COVID-19 concerns.

The same has been repeated during the last several hearings when either the accused or their lawyers remained absent. In a previous hearing, the judge had remarked that if the defence lawyers did not show up, the court would appoint attorneys for the accused and begin the trial.

The first turn came in the third week of the case when Atif was brought in an ambulance to the court to record his confession but he refused to give any on the account that he would contest the case.

Soon after this, the police recommended the case to be tried under the Anti-Terrorism Act, but the ATC tasked with the case referred it back to the sessions court, observing that the case did not fall within terrorism.

According to the investigators, the victims had invested their money with Atif who offered them higher returns. But when he stopped paying them share, they demanded payback over which they were murdered.

The charge sheet read that Atif called Abbas and Hayat to two different places in DHA on the pretext of returning some of the amount. He first shot Hayat at a signal and later went to kill Abbas in an office. CCTV footages show Adil accompanying Atif during this spree.

After the case was given back to a sessions court, the home department sent it to another court in jail citing security concerns. Recently, the wife of the slain anchorperson moved the District South judiciary, seeking transfer of the case to another court on account of her lack of trust in the current judge.

The FIRs were registered under sections 302 (premeditated murder), 325 (attempt to commit suicide) of the Pakistan Penal Code and section 23(1)a of the Sindh Arms Act at the Darakhshan police station. The indictment is now fixed on August 8.