Sarah Inam murder: Islamabad court extends interim bail of main suspect Shahnawaz Amir’s mother till Oct 3
An Islamabad district and sessions court on Saturday extended the interim bail of Sameena Shah — mother of main suspect in the Sarah Inam murder case — till October 3.
The court had initially granted bail to Sameena on September 26 after she filed an application the same day — three days after the murder of her daughter-in-law and arrest of her son, Shahnawaz Amir, for allegedly killing his wife Sarah, who was a Canadian national.
The incident took place at a farmhouse located in Islamabad’s Shahzad Town where Shahnawaz lived along with Sameena, who appeared before the court of Additional Sessions Judge Sheikh Muhammad Sohail to plead for an extension in her bail.
Her lawyer, Arsal Amjad Hashmi, told the court that Shahnawaz had sent Sameena a message on Whatsapp at 12:37am on September 23.
“In the message, Shahnawaz asked Sameena to talk to Sarah’s family about [their] rukhsati, after which Sameena went to bed,” he said, adding that his client was in the kitchen — which was at some distance from the room where the incident took place — when she received a call from at 9:12am.
By the time Sameena got to the place of the incident, Sarah was already dead, he said.
“Her role [in the case] was only that she made the suspect sit in the room and informed police,” the lawyer contended. He added that after being informed, police reached the place of the incident and arrested Shahnawaz.
After he concluded his arguments, the court extended Sameena’s interim bail till October 3.
Besides, the investigating officer (IO) today submitted the case record to the court and informed the judge that Sarah’s family had arrived from Canada and would record their statement to police today.
Sameena’s bail plea
In her petition, Sameena presented her version of the incident, stating that Shahnawaz had left her a WhatsApp message “before the heinous crime”, asking to set up Sarah’s rukhsati by speaking to her father.
“Everything was normal the night before the crime took place,” she said.
Sameena said she retired for the night after receiving the message and was informed about the incident by Shahnawaz, who had called her on her mobile phone at 9:12am the next day.
Thereafter, Sameena rushed to Shahnawaz’s room, the petition said, adding that by the time she reached the room, Sarah had already expired.
“The petitioner asked Shahnawaz to stay in her room and Ayaz (Amir) called the police, and within a few minutes, the police arrived and took custody of Shahnawaz,” the plea read.
Sameena termed the FIR “false and frivolous” and stated that she had no connection with the case or the murder. “But her name is being mentioned by the media that an application has been moved for her arrest,” the petition said.
Adding that Sameena “was not even an eyewitness to the incident”, the plea stated that “her reputable name is being added for no reason but to jeopardise her years [of] reputation, which clearly establishes the mala fide intent and ulterior motives”.
Moreover, the plea mentioned that Sameena was an elderly woman with health issues and said she was willing to furnish sureties against bail, as well as “comply with an investigation that may be conducted by law enforcement agencies”.
Police became a complainant in the case, with a first information report (FIR) registered for the murder on the complaint of Shahzad Town Station House Officer Nawazish Ali Khan at the Chak Shahzad police station, initially under Section 302 (punishment for murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
Later, police added Section 109 (punishment for abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment) of the PPC to the FIR and initiated proceedings against Shahnawaz’s parents, Sameena and senior journalist Ayaz Amir. The development came after Sarah’s uncle filed an application with police, alleging that Shahnawaz had murdered Sarah in connivance with his parents.
Following that, the arrest warrants for the parents were also issued. But, while Sameena is on bail, Amir has been discharged from the case.
According to the FIR, Shahzad Town police station SHO Sub-Inspector Nawazish Ali Khan was present on Park Road near Chatha Bakhtawar when he got the information about the murder.
The FIR stated that when the police team reached the farmhouse where the murder had taken place, they were received by the mother of the main suspect who told them that her son had “murdered his wife during a scuffle”.
As per the FIR, she informed the police that her son was still present in the house. The police managed to enter the house and detained the suspect, it claimed, adding that the suspect’s hands were “soaked in blood” at the time of the arrest.
During the inquiry, the man identified himself as Shahnawaz Amir and told the police that he had murdered his wife with a dumbbell and hid her body in a bathtub in the bathroom, it claimed.
Police recovered the dead body on his information, the FIR said, adding that a wound was found on the head of the deceased. The police team also recovered the murder weapon from the house which was “hidden under a bed”, it added.
Subsequently, the body was moved to the Poly Clinic for autopsy and the murder weapon and the shirt of the accused were sent for a forensic audit.