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April 11, 2021

Warrants for witnesses in DHA double-murder trial

National

April 11, 2021

KARACHI: A district and sessions court on Saturday issued non-bailable arrest warrants for witnesses not turning up to record their statements in the DHA double murder trial.

The additional district and sessions judge South – IV, who is conducting the trial inside the central prison, directed the investigation officer to arrest the absconding witnesses and present them in court on April 24. The judge also ordered him to produce the case property on the next hearing. In the meantime, he asked the main accused, Atif Zaman, to engage a counsel for his defence in the trial. The court had previously framed charges on Atif for murdering anchorperson Mureed Abbas and another man Khizar Hayat.

The judge had also declared the absconding accused, Atif’s brother Adil Zaman, a proclaimed offender. According to the prosecution, Atif with the help of his brother killed the two people minutes apart in Defence Housing Authority on July 9, 2019. Both the victims were partners in a business with Atif and were demanding their money back owing to non-payment of their shares in the profit – which apparently instigated him to commit the murders, the prosecution stated.

Atif called Abbas and Hayat at two different places in DHA on the pretext of returning some of the owed amount, the charge sheet read. He first shot Hayat at a signal and later went to kill Abbas in an office. After indictment, Atif denied the charges and opted to contest the case, following which the judge ordered beginning of the trial on March 6 and directed the investigation officer to bring witnesses in court. The court has also bifurcated the case for Adil who has been absconding since the Supreme Court revoked his bail in September 2020.

He will be charged separately after he is arrested again. Atif was taken in custody soon after the incident when police raided his apartment but he shot himself in the torso. He was then shifted to a private hospital for treatment. Adil was arrested in October 2019 from a northern part of the country.