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Court directs police to expedite declaring Adil Zaman proclaimed offender

A sessions court on Saturday ordered the police to expedite the process to declare an absconding suspect in the DHA double murder case a proclaimed offender, and submit a report on January 19.

The South additional district and sessions judge conducting the hearing of the case inside the Central Jail Karachi directed the investigation officer to issue an advertisement in leading Urdu and English dailies against Adil Zaman who is on the run in the case pertaining to murders of anchorperson Mureed Abbas and Khizar Hayat.

Adil was booked along with his brother Atif Zaman, who is in jail custody, over the murders of Abbas and Hayat who were killed minutes apart in Defence Housing Authority on July 9, 2019.

According to the prosecution, both the victims were partners in a business with Atif and were demanding their money back owing to non-payment of their shares in profit, which infuriated the accused to commit the murders.

The prosecution added that Atif called Abbas and Hayat at two different places in DHA on the pretext of returning some of the money he owed to them. He first shot Hayat at a signal and later killed Abbas in an office.

CCTV footage showed Adil accompanying Atif during the killing spree. Atif was arrested soon after the incident after police raided his flat in the same neighbuorhood. He, however, had shot himself in the torso before police could arrest him. He was rushed to a hospital and survived.

Adil, however, was arrested five months after the incident but was later granted bail by the trial court. The Supreme Court rejected his bail but he ran away from the court and is still untraceable.

During the hearing, the IO also submitted that the forensic report of CCTV footage which the court accepted and made it part of the case record.

The case has seen a fair share of delays since the beginning. The first turn in the case came in the third week when Atif was brought in an ambulance to the City Courts to record his confession but he refused to give any, stating that he would contest the case.

Soon after this, police recommended the case to be tried under the Anti-Terrorism Act but the ATC tasked with the case referred it back to the sessions court, observing that the crime did not fall within the definition of terrorism.

The FIRs were registered under the sections 302 (premeditated murder) and 325 (attempt to commit suicide) of the Pakistan Penal Code, and Section 23(1)a of the Sindh Arms Act at the Darakhshan police station.

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