LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court on Wednesday indicted two suspects in the motorway gang-rape case and also recorded statements of 10 prosecution witnesses.
Prime suspect Abid Malhi and co-suspect Shafqat Bagga pleaded not guilty and Judge Arshad Hussain Bhutta directed the prosecution to present its witnesses.
A special team of prosecutors comprising Waqar Abid, Hafiz Asghar and Abdul Jabbar produced the witnesses who recorded their statements before the judge adjourned the hearing till Thursday (today).
As many as 53 prosecution witnesses had been enlisted in the investigation report, including the complainant woman and the person who reported the incident on the police helpline.
As per the prosecution, the victim identified the suspects during an identification parade inside the jail in the presence of a judicial magistrate. Police recorded the victim’s statement thrice.
Police also recovered a pistol and a club used in the crime from the custody of the suspects, besides their mobile phones. Malhi had snatched over Rs100,000 from the victim, which he spent while fleeing from police. However, police were yet to recover gold bangles and ATM cards that Malhi had snatched from the woman.
The report said police had traced the suspects with the help of DNA samples maintained by the forensic science agency, which matched with the blood stains found at the crime scene. The investigation officer in his report claimed that the suspects had confessed to their crime.
Gujjarpura police had lodged the first information report under sections 376, 392 and 427 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. Malhi and Bagga had allegedly sexually assaulted the woman, a French-Pakistani citizen, in front of her three minor children after dragging her out of her car that stalled on the motorway after it ran out of fuel.
Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2021