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Death sentence to US national for Pakistani woman murder

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ISLAMABAD: A sessions court in Pakistan’s capital sentenced Zahir Jaffer to death for the murder of Noor Mukadam on Thursday.

The convict’s household staff and co-accused in the case, Iftikhar and Jameel, were sentenced to 10 years in jail.

Meanwhile, Zahir Jaffer’s mother Asmat Adamjee, father Zakir Jaffer and cook Jamil have been acquitted, along with all employees of Therapy Works.

The verdict was reserved after the completion of arguments by the prosecution and defence earlier this week.

Additional Sessions Judge Ata Rabbani announced the verdict which was reserved on Tuesday following months of hearings, according to local media reports.

Shortly after the verdict was out, Noor Mukadam’s father Shaukat Mukadam said a favourable court decision was critical. He said he repeatedly said that this case was not only about his daughter, but was a question of all the daughters of Pakistan.

Mukadam said that he was expecting a favourable decision and that he was glad that the court took the right decision. He, however, denied commenting on the suspects who were acquitted.

He further said that he was not contacted by anybody regarding a patch-up, and even if somebody contacted him now, he would not agree to it.

Replying to a question regarding media trials and support from society, he said that the world was standing with them and his family did not need to put in much effort to highlight Noor’s case.

27-year-old Noor Mukadam was found dead at the residence of the prime suspect, Zahir Jaffer, in Islamabad’s upscale Sector F-7/4 on July 20, 2021. 

After a first information report (FIR) was registered under Section 302 (premeditated murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) on behalf of Shaukat Mukadam, Zahir was arrested with a murder weapon and bloodstained clothes from the crime scene on the day of the killing.

According to Shaukat Ali Mukadam who is a former Pakistani diplomat, Jaffer killed Noor Mukadam with a sharp instrument and severed her head.  

As the police went deeper into investigations, Zahir Jaffer’s parents were found involved in concealing evidence and assisting their son in the crime. Both Zahir Jaffer’s mother and father were arrested on July 25, 2021.

The couple was, however, later granted bail on separate occasions as they reached out to higher courts for release on bail.

Moreover, six employees of Therapy Works, a leading therapy and drug rehabilitation centre in Islamabad, were also arrested.

The organisation came under scrutiny after it was revealed that Zahir Jaffer, had himself been associated with Therapy Works.

Moreover, Zahir Jaffer was sent on judicial and physical remands multiple times for interrogations before the trial started.

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