An Islamabad district and sessions court indicted Shahnawaz Amir — the main suspect in the Sarah Inam murder case — and his mother Sameena Shah on Monday.

Shahnawaz was arrested on September 23 for allegedly killing his Canadian national wife at a farmhouse in Islamabad Shahzad Town, where he lived along with his mother.

He was initially remanded to police custody a day after his arrest and the period of his physical remand was extended several times. He was later sent on a judicial remand.

Shahnawaz and Sameena were presented in court today amid tight security.

Judge Atta Rabbani announced the verdict — which was reserved earlier — and summoned the prosecution’s witnesses on December 14.

Court dismisses Sameena’s plea

Separately, the court dismissed co-accused Sameena’s plea seeking to be discharged from the case.

She was arrested by the police on October 20 after a judge dismissed her bail. Sameena was initially granted bail on September 26, three days after police arrested Shahnawaz.

In November, an Islamabad district and sessions court had granted post-arrest bail to Sameena.

During the hearing today, Sameena’s counsel Nisar Asghar contended that according to the police statement in the challan, Sameena was found present at the crime scene but there was no interference from her.

“If the prosecutor’s case is not against her, she should be discharged from the case,” he argued. “The court has to take the final decision after looking at the challan report.”

He also told the court that her client Sameena was the one to hand over her son to the police when they arrived.

“This is the only reason stated by the plaintiff,” Asghar said, adding that the police had found no other evidence against Sameena.

The case

In September, the police had become 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.

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 Shahnawaz’s shirt were sent for a forensic audit.

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