Lahore (February 14, 2018): The defence counsel of the accused in the Zainab rape and murder case on Wednesday refused to represent Imran Ali after he confessed to his crime.
The counsel, Mehar Shakeel Multani informed the judge that his conscience cannot permit him to represent a hardened criminal after he had confessed to his crime.
Following the defence counsel’s official withdrawal today, the Punjab prosecutor general assigned Imran a government lawyer, Mohammad Sultan.
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A total of 56 witnesses have been named in the case.
Imran’s statement is expected to be recorded tomorrow after the court records the statements of all the remaining witnesses today. He had confessed to the crime on the first day of the trial after his indictment.
Punjab Prosecutor General Ehtesham Qadir is assisting the ATC as per the orders of the superior courts.
The verdict in Zainab murder case is likely to be announced in next two to three days.
The Zainab murder case is being heard at anti-terrorism court 1 under the chair of judge Sajjad Ahmed at Kot Lakhpat Jail.
A day before in a 10 hour long proceeding of the case, 16 witnesses recorded their statements including the uncle and brother of Zainab. Overall 36 witnesses had testified in this case.The accused in Zainab murder case on Tuesday confessed to his crime and said that he chose child girls as it is easy to carry out any activity with them.
The accused admitted that he had raped nine girls including Zainab on which the judge gave him 40 minutes to take his time and consult with his counsel before giving his statement again.
When the court proceedings began after 40 minutes, the accused once again admitted his crime on which the court asked the prosecution to record the testimony of the accused.The sources said that it took more than four hours to record the testimony of the accused due to his long list of heinous crimes. The court also allowed the prosecution to record testimonies of the witnesses.
The anti-terrorism court on Monday indicted Imran Ali, who is accused of raping and killing eight-year old Zainab.
The case proceedings were been carried out at a special anti-terror court in Kot Lakhpat Jail.
It is pertinent to mention here that the prime accused in the Zainab rape and murder case, Imran Ali Naqshbandi was produced before an anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Friday after the expiry of his extended physical remand.
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During the hearing, Punjab Prosecutor General Syed Ihtesham Qadir submitted a report over the case, revealing that the suspect was also involved in rape of eight other minor girls. He said that the next hearing will be conducted in the jail due to security concerns.
Moreover, Punjab Prosecutor General Ahtesham Qadir informed that the next proceedings will take place inside the jail. He told that a special cell has been formed at Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail for the trial.
Booked by the police for raping and killing eight minor girls, including seven-year-old Zainab, in Kasur, Imran was presented before the ATC on February 6 as well, a day before the expiry of his 14-day physical remand, amid high security.Zainab was kidnapped from near her aunt’s house in Kasur on January 4. Her body was discovered in a garbage heap five days later.
On January 23, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif in a news conference confirmed that Imran had murdered Zainab, referring to him as a “serial killer” alleging his role in the rape and murders of seven other girls in Kasur in recent years.After the police arrested Imran, the suspect reportedly confessed to assaulting eight minor girls at an under-construction site and two others in a garbage heap. He also admitted to murdering five minor girls at an under-construction site and throwing away the bodies of three others in a garbage pile, sources said.
Two people were killed in Kasur the day after Zainab’s body was recovered, when police fired at hundreds of angry protesters, who said negligence on the part of the authorities was behind the repeated killings.