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Noor murder case: I'm falsely being roped in this case to save real culprits, says Zahir

14 Feb, 2022
In the next hearing of the case on February 16 lawyers presenting other accused would complete their arguments. File photo
In the next hearing of the case on February 16 lawyers presenting other accused would complete their arguments. File photo

Zahir Jaffer, the prime accused in Noor murder case, submitted a written reply in a Islamabad session and judge court saying he was being wrongly framed for the murder.

Judge Atta Rabbani conducted hearing of the case on Monday.

Lawyer Shehryar Nawaz presented Zahir's written reply as well as a USB as proof of relationship between his client and the victim, telling the judge that the device contained two videos to attest to their relationship.

The lawyer also submitted a copy of Zahir's ticket which was booked for his travel to the US on July 19, 2021. The complainant's lawyer was assured that copies of the USB content and other material would be provided to him.

In his written reply submitted in the Islamabad High Court on Monday, Zahir claimed that he was innocent and that he along with other "co-accused have been falsely roped in this case in order to save the actual culprits”.

The questionnaire was issued under section 342 (power to examine the accused) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and comprised 25 queries.

In the written statement, prime accused said he and Noor were good friends and they were a mutually consenting relationship for many years. Both the families were in knowledge of the relationship and they never objected to it, he added.

With a document containing reply of the questions, Zahir’s lawyer annexed a USB as a “proof of relationship” between the prime accused and the victim.

Like family members both Zahir and Noor attended family functions and events, read the reply. He further said Noor and he were not on talking terms for six months before her murder. “Suddenly on July 18, 2021 Noor herself established contact with me and asked me to arrange a drug party but I refused.”

The prime accused then claimed that the same night Noor came to his house with “heavy quantity of drugs and insisted to hold a drug party as she wanted to invite her friends”.

As per the narration of events in the reply, Noor invited her friends to Zahir’s home.

He wrote about his flight to America on the night of July 19, 2021 and how he left for the airport in the taxi along with the victim. But Noor insisted Zahir abandon his plans as she also wanted to go with him to the US, according to the document.

He claimed Noor had called her friends and others to borrow money for the ticket.

While they were returning home, Noor forced “the taxi driver to [go] my home and I could not resist her”.

Talking about the day of the murder, Zahir accused Noor of calling her friends for drug party in the afternoon on July 20, 2021. “Her friends came to my house as I was alone in my home and my parents and other family members were at Karachi for Eid,” read the reply.

“When the party started I became under the heavy intoxication of drugs and all other participants, including Noor, were also under influence of heavy drugs,” read the reply, adding how the reference of forensic histopathology report “verify this fact”.

He then “got out of senses and after the hours when I got senses I was in a tied up condition in the lounge of my house. I made hue and cry on which some persons in police uniform and civil dress rescued me and I came to know that Noor has been murdered by someone among the participants of the drug party.”

Zahir in the written reply to the court said he and his parents were “falsely roped in the case because the unfortunate event happened in my house”.

He also said that Noor’s father Shaukar Mukadam and his relatives reached the crime scene before the arrival of police on the spot and he might know better about the incident “but he and his relatives had not been interrogated by the police in this context”.

The prime accused then blamed Mukadam for fabricating evidence against Zahir by using state machinery as he was an “influential person”. He gave reference to a press conference in which the victim’s father addressed media alongside then government spokesperson, Dr Shahbaz Gill.

Police had started fabricating evidence against the prime accused and other co-accused to the extent that they involved Zahir’s parents, who were in Karachi at the time of occurrence of the incident, read the reply.

He also alleged social media activists for creating a “widespread negative campaign” against the prime accused and his family members to “achieve their nefarious designs and make money”.

Zahir also said his trial was ongoing in the court but the campaigns against him by social media activists and feminists “demanding my hanging without providing me the opportunity to prove my innocence through legal course”.

In his reply, Zahir said that Noor’s belonging and luggage which the police recovered from the scene of the crime were not been made the case property of this case. The prime suspect said the then SSP Mustafa Tanveer was soon removed from his post as he had found a heavy quantity of drugs, including ICE, from her luggage and disclosed the fact before the media.

Then a new SSP was appointed to “fabricate the evidence against me and my family on the pressure of state machinery and influence of Shaukat Mukadam”.

The prime accused also talked about the call data record (CDR) of the victim, alleging the investigation officer of the case of obtaining the CDR of Noor’s cellphone till 10:46 am on July 20, 2021. He willingly did not obtain the record of a certain period of Noor's phone because that would reveal names of her friends who participated in the drug party. “If the participation of [her friends in the] drug party were surfaced then the prosecution had no case against me and my family,” read Zahir’s reply.

Zahir accused Shaukat of using his influence on the police for not obtaining the said record from Noor’s phone. He also claimed that Noor's cell phone was replaced and foisted upon him a cell number of different IMEI number to conceal the drug party as in case of presenting the original phone of the victim the “hoax case against me and other innocent people” would ruin.

In the reply Zahir also talked about his “drug psychosis” treatment in Pakistan and abroad and accused the victim’s father of using his influence to deny him“health facility” in the Adiala Jail.

“Most of the prosecution evidence [in the case] is fabricated, tempered and doctored in violation of the law,” read the reply, adding the prime accused and his parents were innocent in the case and urging the court to acquit him and others from “this hoax case”.

Zakir Jaffer's lawyer's arguments

Presenting his arguments, lawyer Basharullah, who was representing Zahir's father Zakir Jaffer in court, inquired about Noor's mobile which was retrieved on July 23, 2021 and asked why her cell phone was not handed over to the office concerned along with other material evidence, according to the 161 statement on July 29, 2021.

During the hearing, witnesses who collected evidences from the crime scene and then dispatched them into parcels also came under discussion as Zakir's lawyer said no mention of the witnesses were made during the trial of the case.

"Witness seven dispatched the parcels. Witness eight was present on the crime scene. Sikandar Hayat was also a witness of the crime," said Basharatullah.

He wondered how the blood of Therapy Works employee was matched after the tests as his blood sample was not collected from the crime scene.

Basharatullah also argued about the dates of retrieval of Noor's mobile CDR in an attempt to prove that it was fabricated as according to him, the data was obtained four times without any stamp from the information technology department which issued it.

He added he had a 56-page data of the record, while the prosecution presented only limited data of the victim's CDR.

The defendant's lawyer also raised questions over the victim's date of absence as narrated by the complainant, saying the video data record showed that Noor was at Zahir's home since July 18 last year, while her father's statement said she left home on July 19, 2021.

He also said that the accused were not nominated in the case initially when an FIR of Noor's murder was registered at 10 pm on the day of murder. The lawyer added that police did not search Jaffer's home on the crime day as the victim's phone was in the cupboard which was not locked and the cell phone could be retrieved the same day.

Basharatullah also added that so far the police failed to retrieved Noor's mobile data saying that the screen of her mobile was broken. Her mobile data could reveal many hidden facts, he added.

In the next hearing of the case on February 16 lawyers for the other accused will complete their arguments.

Noor Mukadam, the 27-year-old victim, was brutally murdered in Jaffer's home in Islamabad on July 20, 2021. Zahir, his parents, their household staff and six members of Therapy Works, a counselling and psychotherapy centre, have been indicted in the case on October 14, 2021.