Noor Mukadam murder suspect’s parents and domestic help sent to Adiala Jail on 14-day judicial remand
Police in Islamabad on Tuesday recovered the mobile phones of Noor Mukadam and her alleged murderer, Zahir Jaffer, as a sessions court sent his parents and their domestic help on a 14-day judicial remand over their alleged role in Noor’s murder.
Noor, 27, the daughter of a former Pakistani ambassador, was found beheaded at the home of Jaffer last week after having been missing for nearly two days. The alleged murderer was arrested at the scene of the crime, covered in blood.
On Tuesday, investigators said they had recovered the mobile phones of both Noor and Jaffer, adding that they would be used in the investigation to determine a timeline of the case based on the call log. Earlier in the day, Jaffer’s parents—Zakir Jaffer, Asmat Adamjee—and his domestic help—Iftikhar and Jameel—were presented in court with police seeking a 14-day judicial remand, which was granted after the defense counsel said it had no arguments if they were being sent on remand. All four have been ordered to be sent to Adiala Jail and would be presented at the next hearing on Aug. 10.
Jaffer’s parents submitted a request in court for their release on bail shortly after the sentencing, which would be heard by an additional and sessions court on July 30.
On Wednesday, Jaffer was presented to court, which extended his remand by an additional three days, following which he would be produced before court again on July 31. During today’s hearing, the prosecution informed the court that CCTV camera footage of the incident had been acquired and the suspect had to be taken to Lahore for a forensic exam of the videos.
Earlier this week, the Mukadam family’s lawyer told private broadcaster Geo News that Jaffer’s counsel had not yet entered any plea of the suspect having a mental disability. Shah Khawar claimed that if the defense adopts this plea later, it would be considered an “afterthought.” He was responding to reports on social media that Jaffer had a history of mental illness, and this might be a contributing factor to the murder.
Last week, police had stressed that Jaffer had been completely “in his senses” when arrested at the scene of the crime. They had also sought to dismiss the perception that he could use his influence to escape justice.
According to police, they have already requested that the suspect—who is a dual U.S. national—be placed on the Exit Control List to ensure he cannot flee the country. They have also forwarded his fingerprints to authorities in the U.S. and U.K. to procure any criminal history he might have abroad so it could be made part of the case.
Also on Tuesday, Therapy Works—a counselling and psychotherapy service that has come under fire over its staff visiting Jaffer at the scene of the crime prior to the police being called—issued a statement claiming it had been subjected to “baseless and false allegations.”
Earlier, police had claimed that three members of the organization’s staff had reached Jaffer’s house; broken into it; and found Noor’s beheaded body. They said the staff members had then overpowered and detained the accused before police had reached the site. The organization’s office in Islamabad had also been sealed as outrage over its alleged role mounted on social media.
In a posting on Facebook, Therapy Works claimed the allegations against it had caused “extreme distress” to its students, patients and staff members. Clarifying that no staff of the organization had been detained or arrested as part of the ongoing investigation, it said all international credentials/accreditations had been submitted to authorities concerned and were available to any interested students.
Noting that Noor’s murder had “shaken the whole nation to its very core,” the organization said it would not spare any effort “to facilitate the investigation of this heinous crime so that the culprits are punished as per law.” It also warned that it had collected all “defamatory accusations made in the media” against it, adding that it would take legal action against the persons who had defamed it.