Imran Ali pleads ‘not guilty’ in Zainab murder case

LAHORE (Sarzameen News)- Convict Imran Ali on Tuesday has claimed innocence in seven-year-old Zainab’s murder case and filed an appeal in Lahore High Court (LHC).

Imran, who was awarded death penalty by Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC), has said that legal requirements were not ensured in his case as the proceedings were concluded in hurry.

On February 17, ATC handed over four counts of death penalty to Imran while he was also given four separate death sentences after being convicted of the rape and murder of Zainab, as well as terrorism charges, prosecutor general of Punjab province Ihtesham Qadir said after a special anti-terrorism court passed its judgement.

The prosecutors said he received further life imprisonment and fines totalling 3.2 million rupees ($30,000) for additional charges of hiding his victim s body. The suspect can file an appeal against the decision within 15 days, he added.

One million rupees of the fine would be given in compensation to Zainab’s family, public prosecutor Abdul Rauf Wattoo said.

It is to be mentioned here that the prime suspect had confessed his crime and said that he does not deserve to be pardoned. He said that he does not need any legal assistance and that the bigger the punishment for what he has done the less it is.

Following his confessional statement, lawyer Mehar Shakeel Multani stood down from the case, saying that his conscience doesn’t permit him to represent a criminal.

Seven-year-old Zainab went missing on January 4 on her way back to home from maternal aunt’s house. On January 8, her body was found in a garbage dump in the city of Kasur.

Zainab had marks of torture on nose, neck, and other parts of the body and was raped before murder, revealed medical report.

The guardians complained upon return from Umrah that the police did not cooperate with the relatives, who were looking for the missing minor.

Imran was rearrested on January 20 in Kasur after his DNA sample matched with that collected from the body of the victim.

On January 22, accused’s family was taken into custody by rangers for investigation while Punjab CM along with Zainab’s parents held press conference, lauding the performance of police department for nabbing the suspect.

On February 12, Imran Ali was indicted in seven-year-old Zainab’s murder case during hearing at the jail. The accused was presented before the judicial bench in Kot Lakhpat jail during which, he was indicted for raping and killing a Kasur girl.

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