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September 20, 2020

Non-bailable arrest warrant out for DHA double murder co-accused

Karachi

September 20, 2020

A district & sessions court on Saturday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for the DHA double murder case co-accused who had escaped from the Supreme Court after his bail application was turned down.

The additional district & sessions judge (South) posted at the judicial complex inside the Central Jail Karachi ordered the investigating officer to arrest Adil Zaman and bring him to court on October 10.

Adil and his brother Atif Zaman had been booked for the murders of anchorman Mureed Abbas and construction contractor Khizar Hayat, who were shot minutes apart in the upmarket DHA neighbourhood on July 9 last year.

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

In Saturday’s hearing, the IO informed the judge that Adil was on the run again after the top court dismissed his bail plea. He said that efforts were still under way to trace his whereabouts.

The case has been facing dramatic delays since the beginning. The first turn came during the third week of the case when Atif was brought to court in an ambulance to record his confession, but he refused to give any because he said he would contest the case.

Soon after this, the police suggested that the case be tried under the Anti-Terrorism Act, but the anti-terrorism court (ATC) tasked with it referred it back to the sessions court because the ATC said the case did not fall under the definition of terrorism.

According to the investigators, the deceased had invested their money in Atif’s business as he had offered them higher returns, but when he stopped paying them their shares, they demanded their money back, over which they were murdered.

The charge sheet reads that Atif had called Abbas and Hayat to two different locations in DHA on the pretext of returning some of their money, following which he first shot Hayat at a traffic signal and then Abbas in an office. The CCTV camera footage show Atif accompanied by Adil.

After the case was given back to a sessions court, the home department sent it to another court in jail citing security concerns. The widow of the anchorman recently moved the South judiciary seeking transfer of the case to another court, voicing mistrust in the current judge.

The FIRs in the double murder case were registered at the Darakhshan police station under sections 302 (premeditated murder) and 325 (attempt to commit suicide) of the Pakistan Penal Code, and Section 23(1)(a) of the Sindh Arms Act.