ISLAMABAD: The counsel for Zahir Jaffer, the prime accused in the Noor Mukadam murder case, on Wednesday filed a plea in a court contending that his client is “suffering from a severe mental ailment” and needs to be examined by a medical board to determine his mental state.
Zahir is accused of murdering Noor at his residence in Islamabad’s F-7 a couple of months earlier. The grisly murder sent shockwaves across the country, triggering calls for Zahir to be punished severely.
He was indicted on October 14 by a trial court along with 11 others, including his parents.
An insanity plea was filed in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Atta Rabbani by Zahir’s counsel Advocate Sikandar Zulqarnain Saleem.
It contended that Zahir “is suffering from a severe mental ailment which is necessary to be determined through an authorised medical board according to the commands of the legislature and local and international law”.
Shah Khawar, the lawyer representing Noor’s father Shaukat Mukadam, confirmed that Zahir’s lawyer had filed an insanity plea for his client.
“Zahir Jaffer shouted various times in the courtroom due to which he was kicked out,” said Khawar, confirming that the lawyer has demanded a medical board be set up to conduct Zahir’s medical check-up.
“Maybe Zahir Jaffer has been instructed to act like a mental patient,” he said. “[Because] when a court declares a suspect insane, their trial is suspended,” he added.
He said he suspects that the request to form a medical board for Zahir Jaffer was a “planned” act.
Noor Mukadam’s murder has received national press coverage due to the shocking and brutal way the victim was killed allegedly by Zahir earlier this year.
Noor’s father, Shaukat Mukadam, served as Pakistan’s ambassador to South Korea and Kazakhstan.
The Islamabad police arrested suspect Zahir on the night of July 20 from his house where, according to Noor’s parents, he killed her with a sharp instrument and severed her head.