ISLAMABAD: Video footage broadcast on Pakistani news media and shot outside a courtroom in Islamabad showed police officers carrying Zahir Jaffer out of the building on Wednesday after he reportedly used indecent language and misbehaved with the judge during a trial hearing in the Noor Mukadam murder case.
Mukadam, 27, was found beheaded at Jaffer’s house in Islamabad’s upscale F-7/4 neighborhood on July 20. The trial for her murder is one of the most closely watched in Pakistan’s recent history, as the case has sparked public outrage and grabbed media attention unlike any other recent crime against women. Jaffer was arrested from the crime scene on the day of the murder and has been in custody since.
The trial in the case began last month.
On Wednesday, during a hearing in which district and sessions judge Atta Rabbani was hearing prosecution witnesses, Jaffer repeatedly interrupted the proceedings and used indecent language, witnesses present in the courtroom told Arab News.
“These proceedings are being prolonged because they don’t have any authority,” Jaffer said at one point to the judge. It was unclear whom he was referring to as having no authority.
At another point he said: “I haven’t seen such incompetent people in my life. This proceeding is fake. I am giving you a chance that you should hang me, but even then this case is being delayed which shows that all of you are just puppets.”
The suspect also repeatedly called out to a person he identified only by one name, Hamza, saying: “Where are you Hamza? My life is on stake. I should be allowed to speak.”
Jaffer’s interruptions continued for about half an hour after which Rabbani ordered police officials to remove the accused from the courtroom. As police surrounded him, Jaffer, who was handcuffed and in chains, fought back. Police had to grab his arms and legs and carry him out of the courtroom. Video footage of the scene was shown widely on Pakistani news channels.
At his indictment hearing last month, Jaffer admitted he had committed the “crime” but appealed to the judge to release him from jail and put him under house arrest.
Others charged in the case include Jaffer’s parents, Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Adamjee, their three household staff, Iftikhar, Jan Muhammad and Jameel, and six workers from Therapy Works, a counselling center from where Jaffer had received certification to become a therapist and where he had been receiving treatment in the weeks leading up to the murder.