City News

Police told to reissue ad against DHA double murder case absconder

A sessions court on Saturday ordered the investigating officer of the DHA double murder case to reissue the advertisement against absconder Adil Zaman keeping in view the objections raised by the complainant’s counsel.

The additional district & sessions judge (South), who is conducting the hearing of the case inside the Central Jail Karachi, also sought a forensic report on the CCTV camera footage held as electronic evidences.

Adil and his brother Atif Zaman, who is in jail custody, have been booked for the murders of anchorperson Mureed Abbas and his friend Khizar Hayat, who were killed minutes apart in the upmarket DHA neighbourhood on July 9 last year.

According to the prosecution, both victims were partners in a business with Atif and were demanding their money back because of non-payment of their shares in the profit, which infuriated the accused to commit the murders. The prosecution claims Atif had called Abbas and Hayat to two different places in DHA on the pretext of returning some of the money he owed them, following which the accused first shot Hayat at a traffic signal and then Abbas in an office.

The CCTV camera footage show Adil accompanying Atif during the two murders. Atif was arrested soon after the incident when police raided his flat in the same neighbourhood. He, however, shot himself in the torso before the arrest. He was rushed to a hospital, because of which he survived.

Adil was arrested five months after the incident but was later granted bail by the trial court. After the Supreme Court cancelled the bail, he escaped from the court and is still at large.

Lawyer Jibran Nasir, who represents the complainant (Abbas’s wife Zara), argued during the hearing that the IO had issue an advertisement along with some points that could benefit the accused on the run.

He also argued that the police had not yet submitted the forensic report on the CCTV camera footage, while any more delay in the matter could dent the prosecution’s case and benefit the accused.

On the judge’s inquiry, the IO replied that the forensic examination of the CCTV camera footage was conducted in Lahore and its report would be submitted in court in the next hearing.

The judge ordered the IO to reissue the advertisement under the rules defined by the law and submit the forensic report on the CCTV camera footage in the next hearing.

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 and said he would contest the case.

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

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

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