Defense challenges accused’s statement in Noor’s murder case



Khawaja Haris, the lawyer for Zakir Jaffer and Ismat Adamjee, the parents of the main suspect in the Noor Muqaddam murder case, argued Friday before the High Court in Islamabad that the confession of the (suspect) before a investigative officer have no legal status. .

Arguing the request for bail after Zakir Jaffer and Ismat Adamjees were arrested before IHC judge Judge Amir Farooq, Khawaja Harris said he wanted to inform the court of the confession statement of Zahir Jaffer and the recording of call data available to the police.

Khawaja Haris, reading Zahir Jaffar’s first confession, said that when Noor Muqaddam refused to marry, she and the suspect had a bitter argument. Quoting Zahir Jaffer’s confession, he argued that Noor Muqaddam threatened him to file a complaint with the police and humiliate him if he did not give up. He (Zahir Jaffer) called his father and told him that he wanted to get rid of Noor by killing her. The co-accused said this particular statement was not included in Zahir Jaffar’s initial statement.

According to the first confession, he said, Zahir Jafar informed his family members after the murder. He said it will be determined during the trial whether the statement was correct. Khawaja Harris, citing court rulings regarding the legality of the statement, said the accused’s statement recorded in police custody has no legal status. The accused’s statement must be recorded before the magistrate, he said.

Read “Zahir’s parents are not complicit in Noor’s murder”

The defense attorney said police provided the call data recording of Zahir Jaffer, who made the calls to his parents. “It is not in the file what Zahir Jaffer said to his father on the phone after the incident? No transcript of the phone conversation has yet been revealed,” he said.

To this, Judge Amir Farooq said that the transcript of the conversation will only be available if the call is recorded, the world is changing and the law of the land needs to be modernized as well.

The lawyer said that the prosecution or the accused can present any evidence in this regard during the trial.

In the recording of the call data nothing is recorded, what did Zahir Jaffar say to his father during the call? Khawaja Harris said the call data provided by the police relates to calls made between Zahir and Zakir. The incident happened first and no message recordings were presented to the court. The entire recording of the messages belongs to the police, he said, adding that it would also be possible to see who was the first person who received the call from Zahir Jaffer.

Judge Amir Farooq said the trial is also televised in the United States. We still have to establish rules on television. If a murder happened a year ago, terrorism provisions were added at a later stage, but the Supreme Court put an end to this practice.

Khawaja Harris said aiding and abetting crime is always intentional and planned. Even though the father knew about the murder and could have stopped the murder by telling the police, it did not amount to complicity in a crime.

After the defendant’s lawyer had completed his arguments, the court asked whether he wished to present counter-arguments as well. What Khawaja Harris said he would like to give counter-arguments after arguments.

The court asked Shaukat Muqaddam’s lawyer Shah Khawar for arguments, who told the court it would take a little over an hour to complete his arguments. The court adjourned the hearing until September 21. The investigating officer will present arguments.

Posted in The Express Tribune, September 18e, 2021.


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