Qandeel Baloch's brother sentenced to life for her murder; Mufti Qavi, others acquitted

Updated September 27, 2019

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A model court on Thursday had reserved the verdict in the Qandeel Baloch murder case.— Facebook/File
A model court on Thursday had reserved the verdict in the Qandeel Baloch murder case.— Facebook/File
Police officers escort Mohammad Waseem, brother of Qandeel Baloch, at a court in Multan on Friday. — AP
Police officers escort Mohammad Waseem, brother of Qandeel Baloch, at a court in Multan on Friday. — AP

A model court in Multan on Friday sentenced Qandeel Baloch's brother Mohammad Waseem, the prime suspect in the social media star's murder case, to life imprisonment.

The rest of the suspects who were nominated in the case, including cleric Mufti Abdul Qavi, her other brother Aslam Shaheen, Haq Nawaz, Abdul Basit and Mohammad Zafar Hussain were acquitted by the court.

According to the detailed verdict for the case, the prosecution had "successfully proved its case beyond shadow of reasonable doubt through cogent, convincing and inspiring evidence against the accused for committing qatl-i-amd (wilful murder) of his sister Fouzia Ameen alias Qandeel Balouch in shape of proving his presence at the place of occurrence, in shape of judicial confession corroborated with positive results of his DNA."

"So he is held guilty of committing qatl-i-amd of his sister," the verdict added.

It stated that Waseem will be sent to Central Jail in Multan to serve his sentence.

After the verdict was announced, Mufti Qavi's supporters, who had gathered outside the court, showered him with rose petals.

Police had included Mufti Qavi's name as a suspect in the murder case of the social media celebrity on the request of her father. Qavi’s was removed from Ruet-i-Hilal Committee after "controversial" pictures of him with Qandeel Baloch had surfaced on social media. Following the controversy, Qavi had also been removed from the National Ulema Mushaikh Council.

Later, Qavi and Baloch both issued statements over the controversy and contradicted each other. The killer of Qandeel Baloch had also referred to the Mufti Qavi controversy in his confessional statement.

Speaking to the media, Waseem's lawyer said that he couldn't say anything with regards to the court as that was contempt of court. However, he said that they are ready to take the verdict to the high court.

On Thursday, Judge Imran Shafi had reserved his verdict after the prosecution and defence completed their arguments in the case.

Baloch's brother Waseem had strangled her to death in the name of 'honour' at their house in 2016. He later confessed to have killed her because she allegedly “brought dishonour to the Baloch name” with her risque videos and statements posted on social media. Her brother Shaheen had also been nominated in the case.

In August, Qandeel's parents had submitted an affidavit in court, saying they had forgiven the killers and the case against their sons should be thrown out. However, a trial court had rejected the request and proceeded with hearings against the suspects.