ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad police have registered a criminal case against Zahir Jaffer, the prime suspect in the Noor Mukadam murder case, for using “abusive language” inside the courtroom and attempting suicide on the court premises.
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.
Video footage broadcast on Pakistani news media showed police officers carrying Jaffer out of the Islamabad court building on Wednesday, after District and Sessions Judge Atta Rabbani directed the police to take him out for using indecent language and repeatedly interrupting the court proceedings with unwarranted comments at the trial hearing.
“We have registered a criminal case against Zahir Jaffer and a separate charge-sheet for it will be presented in the court,” Assistant Sub-Inspector Waqas Ahmed told Arab News at the Margalla police station.
“He has not only used abusive language in the courtroom, but also tried to commit suicide by smashing his head against the wall,” Ahmed said.
The officer said he was not sure if “Jaffer was staging a drama by doing all this or he was genuinely not in his senses.”
During the hearing on Wednesday, Jaffer repeatedly interrupted the proceedings and used indecent language as Judge Rabbani heard prosecution witnesses, they told Arab News.
“These proceedings are being prolonged because they don’t have any authority,” Jaffer told the judge at one point. It was unclear who he was referring to as having no authority.
In the First Information Report (FIR), the police said the suspect had “violated” the sanctity of the court by using abusive language inside the courtroom. The case would be investigated separately and a charge-sheet filed for trial.
Reached for an opinion, a lawyer maintained that a suspect could not avoid conviction in a case by merely posing as mentally ill, as there was a whole procedure for this to be determined.
“A judge may refer a suspect to a mental hospital for medical examination and it may take at least six months to finalize a report,” Aftab Bajwa, a Supreme Court attorney, told Arab News.
“One thing is for sure that a suspect cannot trick the court by posing as mentally ill to avoid conviction or come out of jail on this pretext.”