Thursday Feb 15, 2018
LAHORE: The anti-terrorism court (ATC) hearing the rape and murder case of seven-year-old Zainab has reserved its verdict and will announce it on 17 February.
The defence and prosecution on Thursday concluded their arguments in the high-profile case which was being heard inside Kot Lakhpat Jail, where the accused, Imran Ali is jailed on remand.
A total of 56 witnesses including Zainab’s uncle and brother recorded their statements against Imran. The prosecutor informed the court that the forensic report and polygraph test proved that Imran murdered Zainab.
On Wednesday, the ATC held a nine-hour long hearing wherein it recorded the statement of the primary suspect and statements of witnesses.
Moreover, on Wednesday, the accused's private counsel informed the judge that after Imran Ali's confession, his conscience cannot permit him to represent a hardened criminal. Imran had confessed to the crime on the first day of the trial after his indictment.
The counsel, Mehar Shakeel Multani, had made similar comments before the media on Tuesday. Following the defence counsel's official withdrawal, the Punjab prosecutor general assigned Imran a government lawyer, Mohammad Sultan.
Seven-year-old Zainab was kidnapped from near her aunt’s house in Kasur on January 4 and found dead in a garbage heap five days later. On January 23, the authorities claimed to have nabbed the suspect, a serial killer involved in other such crimes, through a DNA match.
On Monday, ATC Judge had indicted Imran and recorded the statements of 20 witnesses. The Lahore High Court has directed the ATC to wrap up the trial within seven days of the suspect’s indictment.
Imran was arrested on January 23. His DNA also matched samples taken from seven other minor girls who were abused and murdered earlier in Kasur, according to the police.
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 in Kasur.