A district and sessions court in Islamabad on Thursday indicted Zahir Jaffer and 11 other people in the murder of Noor Mukadam whose brutal murder in July sent shockwaves in Pakistan.
The trial will begin on October 20.
Along with Zahir, who is the main accused, the court framed charges against his parents, three domestic staff members and six Therapy Works employees including the CEO.
Of the aforementioned, the Therapy Employees personnel showed up in court as they are on bail while the others came from Adiala Jail.
Additional Sessions Judge Ata Rabbani indicted the accused on the charges, and all plead not guilty.
Zahir's parents had earlier approached the Islamabad High Court seeking an annulment of the sessions court's order to indict them but no progress has been made on that case.
Zahir's father Zakir has filed a request with this court asking not to proceed with the indictment. His lawyer argued that there is no evidence linking the parents to the charges against them. The evidence produced so far does not link Zakir to the crime, the lawyer said.
The lawyer for Shaukat Mukadam, the former ambassador father of Noor, said at this point the court was indicting the accused, not sentencing them, arguing that evidence will be examined during the trial.
According to a Dawn report, as the lawyers presented their arguments, Zahir interrupted several times, saying for example that the employees of Therapy Works had barged into his house the day of the murder.
He also repeated his assertion that his life was in danger, at one point asking Shaukat to forgive him. "My life is in danger. Have mercy on me," he is quoted by Dawn as saying.
He also claimed that Noor "wanted to sacrifice [her life] and presented herself for the sacrifice".
Zahir also requested the court several times to allow him to make a phone call but did not say who too.
The court, however, did not grant him permission to make the call.
Some social media users posted short video clips of Zahir outside the court in which it sounds like he's saying his father asked him to "get rid of Noor."