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Tuesday Nov 14 2017

Mufti Qavi granted bail in Qandeel Baloch murder case


MULTAN: A sessions court on Tuesday granted bail to Mufti Abdul Qavi, a suspect in the murder of social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch, a day after his judicial remand was extended.

Qavi was granted bail against a surety bond of Rs200,000 and is expected to be released in the evening today.

Presenting arguments, the suspect’s lawyer said that an accused, Aslam Shaheen, has been granted bail but Qavi, who is suspected of inciting Qandeel’s brother to murder her, is being denied bail.

A polygraph test has no legal value either and a “mysterious” call from Saudi Arabia should not be enough grounds to deny bail to Qavi, the lawyer said.

The court on Monday remanded the cleric for seven days after his 13-day judicial remand expired.

The police also submitted the charge-sheet against Qavi to the prosecutor, following which the challan will be submitted to the judge in case no changes are needed in it.

Qavi has already spent around two weeks in police custody following which he was sent to jail on judicial remand.

Qavi was also taken through a polygraph test at Punjab Forensic Science Authority (PFSA) in Lahore earlier, which went on for over five hours. However, PFSA officials said the accused was not cooperative during the lie-detection test.

On October 18, Judicial Magistrate Mohammad Pervez issued non-bailable warrants for Qavi after investigation officer Noor Akbar requested the court to do so on the grounds that the cleric is not cooperating with the police.

The cleric was later arrested after reportedly attempting to escape.

After being arrested, Qavi complained of chest pain and was admitted to a hospital. He also underwent angiography in the following days and was discharged later.

Qandeel Baloch murder case

Baloch, who shot to fame for her provocative selfies that polarised Pakistan, was allegedly strangled on July 16, 2016 by her brother Waseem.

In his 'confession', Waseem claimed she had brought shame on the family and owned up to his crime in a press conference after his arrest the same day. Waseem, his cousin Haq Nawaz and Abdul Basit were indicted in December 2016 and pleaded not guilty.

Prior to her death, Baloch, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, spoke of worries about her safety and had appealed to the Interior Ministry to provide her with security.

In Facebook posts, Baloch, 26, spoke of trying to change "the typical orthodox mindset" of people in Pakistan.


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