A court in Islamabad has sentenced to death the tycoon’s son who raped and murdered Noor Mukadam, a case that sparked outrage in Pakistan.
Mukadam, 27, the daughter of a former Pakistani diplomat, was held captive, tortured and beheaded in July last year by Zahir Jaffer, a member of a well-known industrialist family.
Jaffer, 30, a Pakistani-American citizen, is thought to have attacked Mukadam after she refused his marriage proposal. Two household employees of Jaffer, a guard and a cook, were both sentenced to 10 years for abetting the murder. The court heard they had blocked the young woman’s attempts to leave the luxury mansion. Jaffer’s parents, who had faced charges in connection with covering up the killing, were acquitted by the court.
After a lengthy trial that began in October, Judge Ata Rabbani on Thursday sentenced Jaffer to be hanged.
Shaukat Ali Mukadam, Noor’s father, said the verdict was a “victory for justice” and thanked the media for keeping the matter alive.
“Today, an exemplary punishment has been given to the main accused. Today, my daughter’s soul will be content to some extent. We are happy as far as the principal accused is concerned,” he told reporters outside the courtroom.
Prosecution lawyer Shah Khawar said: “Justice has been served, and today’s verdict will empower Pakistani women at large. We will challenge the acquittal of his parents at the higher court.”
The murder, and the efforts to protect the wealthy killer, had caused outrage in Pakistan where, despite high rates of brutal violence against women, there are low conviction rates, with most perpetrators going uncharged.
According to AGHS Legal Aid Cell, a rights group providing free legal representation for marginalised groups in Pakistan, the conviction rate for cases of violence against women is less than 3%.
Rights groups hailed the verdict and called for the higher courts to maintain the decision in the face of any appeal.
“Justice has been served today. We…