ISLAMABAD: The DNA tests conducted on the body and clothes of Noor Mukadam, a 27-year-old woman who was murdered in Islamabad in July, have confirmed that the victim was raped before the killing, a public prosecutor in the gruesome murder case said on Wednesday.
Mukadam was found beheaded at a residence in Islamabad’s upscale F-7/4 neighborhood on July 20, in a case that has sparked public outrage and grabbed media attention unlike any other recent crime against women.
The police arrested the prime accused, Zahir Jaffer, from the crime scene on the day of the murder, followed by the arrest of his parents, Zakir Jaffar and Ismat Adamjee, and three members of the household staff on a range of charges, including abetment to the crime and hiding evidence.
The Islamabad police have submitted a detailed charge-sheet against the accused and a trial in the murder case is expected to begin this week.
“It is proven now [through forensic analysis] that Zahir Jaffer raped her [Noor Mukadam] before the murder,” Sajid Cheema, a public prosecutor in the case, told Arab News on Wednesday.
“She was not drugged or given any tranquilizer or sedative before the rape and murder.”
Jaffer, who is a US national and belongs to an upper-class family, had reportedly been practicing as a psychotherapist after enrolling in a certification course with Islamabad-based facility, Therapy Works.
He was initially on police remand but was moved to Adiala Jail in the city of Rawalpindi on judicial remand in early August.
After an initial autopsy in Islamabad, investigators had dispatched samples from the victim's body to the Punjab Forensic Science Agency in Lahore for a forensic examination.
Including the forensic reports, Cheema said, the prosecution had gathered enough evidence to get the accused convicted in the case. “There is no eyewitness in the case so far, but other evidence is strong enough to get the conviction.”
If conducted speedily, the trial in the case may conclude in two to three months, according to the prosecutor. Otherwise, it may take two to three years as well.
The DNA tests, the weapon used in the murder and other evidence collected from the crime scene in the horrific murder case all point to Jaffer as the killer, investigators say.
On Wednesday, an Islamabad Sessions Judge Kamran Basharat Mufti resumed hearing the case and summoned the investigating officer, Inspector Abdul Sattar. The proceedings were adjourned till Thursday.
The accused were not brought to the courtroom as the judge marked their attendance through a judicial order. They were sent back to Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi from the Islamabad judicial complex, which houses different courts.
Advocate Salaar Khan, who is representing Mukadam family in the case, said Judge Mufti was expected to mark this case to another judge for a regular trial to begin from the next hearing on Thursday.
“The victim’s family wants a speedy trial in the case and we hope to receive a direction in this regard from the Islamabad High Court,” he told Arab News.
Khan said if the high court would not direct for a speedy trial, they could seek it through a petition at an appropriate time. “This will help us avoid unnecessary adjournments in the case and reach an early verdict.”