LAHORE: A sessions court on Friday handed down a life sentence to police officer Mufakhar Adeel in the murder case of former assistant advocate general Shahbaz Tatla and acquitted two other accused giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Shabraiz Akhtar Raja announced the guilty verdict in the presence of the convict.

The judge gave life imprisonment under section 302 (b) (murder) and a five-year jail term each under section 365 (abduction) and section 201 (hiding evidence of a crime) of the PPC.

The judge imposed a total fine of Rs450,000 on the convict.

Co-accused Asad Bhatti and Irfan Ali were declared innocent on the grounds of the benefit of the doubt.

SSP Adeel and Advocate Tatla went missing on Feb 7, 2020. The police initially arrested Bhatti, a common friend of the convict, and the deceased, who narrated the whole story of the crime during the interrogation. The third accused, Ali, was the shop owner from where the acid, used in the crime, was purchased.

The convict police officer ended his mysterious disappearance after one month of the incident and surrendered to the police. He denied the allegations, saying police failed to collect any evidence to establish that the former law officer was dead.

The Naseerabad police submitted challan before the court, saying the accused persons confessed to their crime. It said Adeel confessed to disposing of the body of his lawyer friend in a plastic drum filled with acid. He later got the crime scene (a rented house) washed in order to remove any evidence of his offence with the help of his accomplices.

The prosecution presented 26 witnesses against the accused persons. Advocate Farhad Ali Shah represented the deceased.

The judge in his verdict observed that the prosecution succeeded to prove all the charges against convict Adeel.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2022

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