Zahir Jaffer, the primary suspect in the Noor Mukadam murder case, was forcefully removed from a sessions court in Islamabad by police on Wednesday after he disrupted proceedings and hurled obscenities at the judge.
During the hearing, which was presided over by Additional Sessions Judge Ata Rabbani, all suspects in the case — Zahir, his parents, Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Adamjee, their three household staff, Iftikhar, Jan Muhammad and Jameel, and six Therapy Works employees, identified as Tahir Zahoor, Amjad, Dilip Kumar, Abdul Haq, Wamiq and Samar Abbas — were presented in the court.
Shortly after the hearing started, Zahir started saying the name Hamza out loud, directed at no one in particular. When the judge asked police officials to remove Zahir from the courtroom due to his behaviour, he hid behind the door.
Zahir disrupted the proceedings again a few minutes later, demanding to be heard. "This is my court. I want to say something," he said.
"Everything of mine is at stake. Such an activity will be a sign of an unsuccessful state," he claimed.
He also lashed out at the court and hurled obscenities at the judge. "This court is nothing but dirt. This court is dragging this because they have no power. I have never seen something more fake.
"I'm giving you guys an opportunity to hang me but still you guys are dragging it. This all is a puppet show [...] I have never seen more incompetent people in a room in my entire life," he continued.
Following Zahir's outburst, the judge directed police officials to take him away, terming it a "drama". As the police moved to restrain him, Zahir grabbed Inspector Mustafa Kiani by the collar.
Video footage of the incident showed policemen dragging Zahir out of the courtroom. After he kept on resisting, four policemen carried Zahir out and took him back to the lockup.
Judge Rabbani said he would not issue a contempt notice to the suspect but would start conducting the trial in jail.
At the hearing today, lawyer Akram Qureshi represented Therapyworks employees; Asad Jamal represented Asmat Adamjee, and Sajjad Ahmed Bhatti appeared as legal counsel of the household staff of Jaffer's house.
The lawyer for Zahir's father Zakir Jaffer, Advocate Basharat, did not appear in court.
Three prosecution witnesses were cross-examined by the accused's lawyers in today's hearing which included map-maker Amir Shehzad, ASI Muhammad Riaz and Head Constable Firasat Fahim.
The court summoned medico-legal officer Dr Jahanzaib — who conducted the autopsy on Noor's body — crime scene in-charge Imran and two witnesses for the defence — Sikandar Hayat and Sikandar Ali — in the next hearing on Nov 10.
Cop registers FIR against Zahir
Meanwhile, a case was registered against Zahir on the complaint of Inspector Mustafa Kiani. The case was registered at the Margalla police station under sections 353/186 (interfering in the state function) and 325 (attempt to commit suicide) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
According to the FIR, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, Zahir started using abusive language in the courtroom, upon which the judge directed officials to escort him out.
"However, Zahir resisted and grabbed me by the collar," Inspector Kiani said in the FIR, adding that he also tried to deliberately harm himself.
The FIR described Zahir as "extremely clever" and claimed that he tried to save himself by staging a "drama" and trying to injure himself. In the complaint, the police official also noted that Zahir had violated the sanctity of the court.
Noor, 27, was found murdered at a residence in Islamabad's upscale Sector F-7/4 on July 20.
A first information report (FIR) was registered the same day against Zahir, who was arrested from the site of the murder, under Section 302 (premeditated murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of the victim's father, Shaukat Ali Mukadam.
At around 10pm on July 20, Shaukat had received a call from Kohsar police station, informing him that Noor had been murdered.
Police had subsequently taken the complainant to Zahir's house in Sector F-7/4 where he discovered that his "daughter has been brutally murdered with a sharp-edged weapon and beheaded", according to the FIR.
Zahir's parents and household staff were also arrested on July 24 over allegations of "hiding evidence and being complicit in the crime". They were made a part of the investigation based on Shaukat's statement, according to a police spokesperson.
Shaukat, who identified his daughter's body, has sought the maximum punishment under the law against Zahir for allegedly murdering his daughter.
Police later said that Zahir had confessed to killing Noor while his DNA test and fingerprints also showed his involvement in the murder.