Sun, 23 Feb 2020

Court rejects co-accused's bail plea in DHA double murder case

Pakistan Press Foundation
15 Jan 2020, 22:38 GMT+10

A district and sessions court on Tuesday rejected a bail application filed by Adil Zaman in the DHA double murders case.

Adil and his brother Atif Zaman are standing trial for the murder of anchorperson Mureed Abbas and Khizar Hayat. Atif owed money to the victims, and upon their insistence to return the amount, he allegedly killed them.

The South district's additional sessions judge at the judicial complex in the central jail pronounced his order, reading that in light of the arguments, prima facie sufficient evidence was available on record against the suspect and therefore the bail could not be granted.

The hearing was fixed to frame charges on the suspects, but the lawyer of Atif remained absent. The judge directed Atif to ensure his attorney attended the next hearing on January 25.

The judge observed that the case had already faced a fair share of delays and should not prolong further. He added that the if the prime suspect's lawyer did not turn up, then the court would provide him a lawyer itself but would proceed with the charges.

On the previous date on January 9, the indictment was deferred to Tuesday after the jail authorities failed to produce Atif in the court on the account of illness. The judge had sought the suspect's medical reports from the authorities to evaluate his medical condition.

The home department on December 10 had informed the previous court that the case was transferred to the jail for security concerns. The letter to the judge read that an unwanted incident could occur during the murder suspects' trial at the city courts.

The case has been facing adjournments since it started. Earlier, an anti-terrorism court had reverted the case to the sessions court, observing that it did not fit in the jurisdiction of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

According to the charge sheet, Atif called Abbas and Hayat, who were his business partners, to different places, a few hundred metres away, in DHA on the pretext of returning some of the amount he owed them.

He first allegedly shot Hayat at a signal and later went to kill Abbas in an office. CCTV footage shows Adil accompanying Atif during this spree. It transpired later that the weapon with which Atif did the murders belonged to Adil.

Adil maintains that he did not know of his brother's intention to murder. After the incident, Adil dropped Atif at his appartment and went into hiding in Balakot. The police arrested him three months ago.

According to the police, a number of people, including the victims, had invested money in a tyre business of Atif against profits. But the suspect had not been paying his investors for months saying that his business had suffered some losses.

Due to a shady nature of the scheme, the National Accountability Bureau has also started an inquiry into the apparent scam. Recently, a banking court sought a reply from Atif over a complaint filed against him by a bank for the recovery of Rs5 million.

The News International

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