Zahir Jaffer appeared in Islamabad court on Wednesday
An Islamabad court has approved the physical remand of Zahir Jaffer, who is accused of murdering and beheading 27-year-old Noor Mukadam, for three more days. This means that he will remain in the custody of the Kohsar police.
Zahir, dressed in a casual black t-shirt and blue jeans, was brought to the court of Judicial Magistrate Shoaib Akhtar at 12:50pm by a heavy contingent of the Islamabad police on Wednesday.
He was taken to the courtroom through the dimly lit corridor and poorly ventilated staircase by more than 10 policemen and two security guards. After their arrival, the small courtroom was packed with lawyers, police, and reporters with no space left for people to stand.
State prosecutor Sajid Cheema started the arguments by telling the court that the police have obtained the suspect's mobile phone along with the CCTV footage of the fight between Noor and Zahir, adding that they will send the footage for forensic analysis to a laboratory in Lahore. Cheema requested for an increase in Zahir's physical remand, claiming that the police will need to take him with them for the video's forensics.
Ansar Nawaz, Zahir's lawyer, said that his client has been in police custody for the last seven days. "Why couldn't they have investigated my client then?"
He remarked that this is the first time he is hearing of police taking a suspect with them for forensics for a video.
To this, Shah Khawar replied that Zahir will be moved to the jail once the forensics analysis has been completed.
The court then approved the prosecutor's request, and Zahir was taken back by the police.
Before the hearing, former diplomat Shaukat Mukadam, who is Noor's Mukadam, was seen waiting for the hearing outside the court along with his lawyer Shah Khawar.
Speaking to SAMAA Digital, Shah Khawar remarked that all the evidence shows that the suspect committed the murder.
Sajid Cheema shared that the strategy being used by Zahir's family is the same as in the US, where the suspect remains silent while his lawyer speaks on his behalf. Zahir has not answered any questions so far, he said.
On Tuesday, the court approved the 14-day judicial remand of Zahir's father Zakir Jaffer, mother Asmat Adamjee, and their two domestic helpers Jameel and Iftikhar. They have been moved to the Adiala Jail now. The police are investigating them on charges of "abetting" Noor's murder.
Noor Muqaddam was slaughtered at a house in Islamabad's F-7/4 on July 20, a day before Eidul Azha.
Zahir Jaffer, who was allegedly involved in the murder, was arrested on the spot and taken to the police station, the Islamabad police tweeted. A case under Section 302 (punishment for murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code has been registered against Zahir at the Kohsar Police Station.
Zahir was sound, in his senses when he was arrested, Investigation SSP Ata-Ur-Rehman said, adding that the suspect was not under the influence of any drugs. “He may have a past history but at least at the time of arrest he was in his senses.” He had attacked someone else too but when the police reached the house he had been tied up.
The suspect worked for his family business Ahmed Jaffer & Company as a chief brand strategist, and as a therapist. The police have also sealed the office of Therapy Works office in the case.