In statement, police says detailed report of Punjab Forensic Science Agency with evidence for conviction of accused will be read out in next hearing
Islamabad Police on Tuesday issued a clarification following outrage over the testimony of the investigation officer during Monday’s proceedings in the Noor Mukadam murder case, stressing his responses were restricted to “yes” or “no” statements and did not reflect the full extent of the evidence available with the prosecution.
During a meeting to review progress in the Noor Mukadam trial, read a statement issued by police, the Islamabad Inspector General of Police was informed that the defense counsel’s cross-examination of the investigation officer was limited to “yes” or “no” responses. “The answers must corroborate with the facts of the case file,” it said, stressing that the proceedings had been “misinterpreted.”
Monday’s proceedings provoked outrage on social media after it emerged that the investigation officer had admitted that primary accused Zahir Jaffer’s pants did not have any bloodstains. He also informed a sessions court that Zahir’s fingerprints were not found on a pistol recovered from the crime scene, and that no eyewitness statements had been recorded during the investigation. Citizens across Pakistan questioned the validity of the investigation, and demanded justice for Noor, stressing that the case must proceed to its logical conclusion.
Summarizing the proceedings, the police clarified that while the investigation officer had said “no” to a question about bloodstains on Zahir’s pants, it was fact that the accused’s shirt had been stained with the blood of victim Noor. Similarly, it said, that a knife had not contained any of Zahir’s fingerprints, but DNA testing had confirmed that Noor’s blood was on its blade.
On a question posed by the defense over whether a photogrammetry test was conducted to identify Noor, the police said that this was done to identify the accused and the victim’s identity did not need to be verified.
“The detailed report of the Punjab Forensic Science Agency is yet to be read on the next hearing, which contains comprehensive forensic evidence, sufficient for the conviction of the accused,” it stressed. “The crime scene was visited by senior most officers at the time of occurrence and scene was completely preserved by forensic experts of National Forensic Science Agency to avoid any contamination,” it added.
According to the police, the PFSA report confirms the following facts:
- Rape was committed with Noor before she was killed; DNA has been confirmed
- Noor attempted to save her life prior to being killed and Zahir’s DNA has been recovered from her fingernails
- The shirt worn by, and recovered from, Zahir was stained with Noor Mukadam’s blood and the DNA has been verified
- Noor Mukadam was killed with a swiss knife recovered from the scene, and her blood was found on the blood and handle
- Noor Mukadam was also attacked with a “knuckle punch” recovered from the crime scene and her blood was found on it
“These are very strong pieces of forensic evidence and investigation team is committed to seek justice for Noor Mukadam,” it said, adding that the IGP had directed all officers to follow the case in the best possible manner.
The court is set to resume hearings into the case from tomorrow (Wednesday). Zahir, the primary accused in the murder of 27-year-old Noor Mukadam, was formally charged for the crime by an Islamabad court in October 2021. Following the registration of the FIR in July, Zahir’s parents and household staff had also been arrested for allegedly “hiding evidence and being complicit in the crime.”