Statements of accused's neighbours not recorded, says investigating officer in Noor Mukadam murder case

Published January 24, 2022
Zahir Jaffer, primary accused in the Noor Mukadam murder case, is brought to a court in Islamabad on Monday. — DawnNewsTV
Zahir Jaffer, primary accused in the Noor Mukadam murder case, is brought to a court in Islamabad on Monday. — DawnNewsTV

The investigating officer (IO) in the Noor Mukadam murder case on Monday told the court that the statements of neighbours of the primary accused, Zahir Jaffer, and their security guards were not recorded during the inquiry.

He said this during his cross-examination by the defence lawyer, Advocate Sikandar Zulqarnain Saleem.

Additional Sessions Judge Ata Rabbani presided over today's hearing during which Zahir's counsel asked Inspector Sattar to read out the information written in the report recorded in the police diary.

According to the police official, at the time of Zahir's arrest, there were no bloodstains on his pants and his fingerprints were also not found on the knife presumed to be the murder weapon.

It is pertinent to mention here that in August, a senior police officer had said that fingerprints on the knife matched the fingerprints of the accused.

Sattar said that the statements of Zahir's neighbours and nearby guards were not recorded and that recordings from nearby cameras were also not seized, adding that "there were no eyewitnesses".

Questioned about the crime scene map, the officer said that Zahir's presence was not included on it.

According to him, the first floor of the scene of the crime was not fully searched and the hair sample, presumed to be Noor's, taken from the knife was found to be "not suitable".

During the cross-examination, he also said that Noor's torn clothes, as seen in the CCTV footage, had not been found during the investigation.

In today's hearing, Zahir remained seated on the floor, after being brought to the court on a stretcher last time. During the previous hearing, the court was informed that jail doctors conducted a complete checkup and declared Zahir mentally and physically fit to stand trial.

The court adjourned the hearing until January 26 (Wednesday).

Brutal murder

Noor, 27, was found murdered at the Jaffers' residence in Islamabad's upscale Sector F-7/4 on July 20, 2021. A first information report 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 (PPC) on the complaint of the victim's father.

Zahir's parents and household staff were also arrested on July 24 over allegations of "hiding evidence and being complicit in the crime".

The IO in July had told the court of the duty magistrate that the alleged killer tortured Noor with a knuckleduster before beheading her.

A trial court on October 14 had indicted Zahir along with 11 others — his parents, their three household staff including Iftikhar (watchman), Jan Muhammad (gardener) and Jameel (cook), Therapyworks CEO Tahir Zahoor and employees Amjad, Dilip Kumar, Abdul Haq, Wamiq and Samar Abbas — in the case. The murder trial formally began on Oct 20.

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