MULTAN: Four witnesses from prosecution side in the murder case of social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch deviated from their previous statements and refused to recognise cleric Mufti Abdul Qavi whom the victim’s parents had held responsible for their daughter’s killing.
Declaring their statements recorded by the police as false, the witnesses, who are the close relatives of the slain model, refused to recognise Mr Qavi. The statements were recorded under section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in which the witnesses had accused the cleric of plotting and facilitating the murder.
The prosecution witnesses included Ashiq Hussain, Khair Muhammad, Akhtar Hussain and Sabir.
Earlier, Muzaffarabad police presented the main accused, Muhammad Wasim, brother of Qandeel, while the other four -- Mufti Qavi, Haq Nawaz, Abdul Basit and Zaffar -- who are on bail, appeared before the court by themselves.
After recording the witnesses statements the case was adjourned for August 30 (today).
The court has summoned more witnesses to record their statements on Friday.
Muhammad Azeem, the father of Qandeel, had alleged that his daughter was killed on Mr Qavi’s orders and that the cleric had offered him money for dropping charges against him.
In October 2017, Mr Qavi was arrested by police while he was going from Multan to Jhang after his application for an extension in his pre-arrest bail was rejected. However, he was released on bail later.
In May 2018, the court had indicted five suspects, including Mufti Qavi. All the accused persons had pleaded not guilty after charges were read out by the judge.
Qandeel was allegedly strangled by her brother Waseem and cousin Haq Nawaz in the name of ‘honour’ in July 2016, weeks after posting selfies with Mr Qavi on social media.
Published in Dawn, August 30th, 2019