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Asia Pakistan

Pakistan: Prime suspect indicted as trial kicks off in Canadian national’s murder

Shahnawaz, son of veteran journalist facing charges of killing his wife with dumbbell



Shahnawaz Amir and Sarah Inam in a file photo.
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ISLAMABAD: A trial court of Islamabad has indicted Shahnawaz Amir in the murder case of his Canadian national wife Sarah Inam on September 23, 2022.

Shahnawaz is the son of veteran journalist Ayaz Amir and Sarah was reportedly his third wife.

District & Sessions Judge Ata Rabbani also indicted Shahnwaz’ mother Samina Shah, the ex-wife of Ayaz Amir, with abetting her son in the crime.

Samina had moved a separate plea requesting the court to acquit her in the murder case. However, the judge dismissed her petition.

Her counsel Nisar Asghar said that the police in the challan report had admitted that she was present at the crime scene but the prosecution did not bring any evidence on record. He requested the court to absolve her of the charges.

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During the proceedings, counsel for the deceased’s father, Advocate Rao Abdul Rahim Rahim, argued that the accused persons had admitted that Sarah had visited their house on the night of her murder and they had dinner together.

He said that the principal accused had divorced Sarah about a couple of days before her murder. The challan claimed that during the course of investigation Shahnawaz had confessed to killing Sarah.

It said Samina Shah, the mother of the main accused, told the police that her son had a quarrel with Sarah and killed her by hitting her on the head with a dumbbell. After the arrest, the main accused also confessed that he had killed his wife during a fight.

Shahnawaz was arrested on September 23 for allegedly killing his Canadian national wife at a farmhouse in Islamabad Shahzad Town, where he lived along with his mother.

His mother was initially granted bail on September 26, three days after the arrest of her son but was arrested on October 20 after a judge dismissed her bail.

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However, later in November, an Islamabad district and sessions court had granted post-arrest bail to Sameena.

Sameena Shah’s plea dismissed

After the arrest, Shahnawaz was remanded to police custody and the period of his physical remand was extended several times. He was later sent on a judicial remand.

As the proceedings started, Judge Atta Rabbani announced the verdict of dismissing Sameena Shah’s plea which was reserved earlier and summoned the prosecution’s witnesses on December 14.

In September, the police had become a complainant in the case, with a First Information Report (FIR) registered for the murder on the complaint of Shahzad Town Station House Officer (SHO) Nawazish Ali Khan at the Chak Shahzad police station, initially under Section 302 (punishment for murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

The FIR stated that when the police team reached the farmhouse where the murder had taken place, they were received by the mother of the main suspect who told them that her son had “murdered his wife during a scuffle”.

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She had informed the police that her son was still present in the house. The police managed to enter the house and detained the suspect, it claimed, adding that the suspect’s hands were “soaked in blood” at the time of the arrest.

Subsequently, the body was moved to the Polyclinic hospital for autopsy and the murder weapon and Shahnawaz’s shirt were sent for a forensic audit.

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