LHC dismisses Zainab murder case convict’s appeal against death sentence

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) dismissed on Tuesday convict Imran Ali’s appeal against his death sentence in the Zainab rape and murder case.

LHC dismisses Zainab murder case convict's appeal against death sentence

Seven-year-old Zainab was kidnapped from near her aunt’s house in Kasur on January 4 and was found dead in a garbage heap five days later. On January 23, the authorities claimed to have nabbed her killer, Imran, through a DNA match.

On February 17, the anti-terrorism court (ATC) hearing the high-profile case sentenced Imran to death four times. Appealing against the ATC verdict, Imran claimed innocence before the LHC and pleaded for the verdict to be declared null and void.

Giving its order on Imran’s appeal, Justice Sadaqat Ali and Justice Shahram Sarwar ruled that the investigation proved that Imran was the real culprit and dismissed the appeal.

Justice Sadaqat remarked that there should be no objections to timely resolution of cases while Justice Shahram observed that the convict was caught after his DNA matched.

In the appeal, submitted to the LHC by the jail administration, Imran had said that the ATC rushed the proceedings and failed to adhere to legal formalities.

High-profile case

The ATC conducted the trial inside the Kot Lakhpat Jail and concluded proceedings a week after the suspect’s indictment, as per the orders of the Lahore High Court.

Imran was sentenced to death for kidnapping, rape, murder and under Section 7-ATA. Additionally, for performing an unnatural act with a minor he was sentenced to life imprisonment along with a fine of Rs1 million and for desecrating human remains by dumping Zainab’s body in the garbage he was sentenced to seven years, the Punjab Prosecutor General Ehtesham Qadir had informed the media.

The court had recorded witnesses of several individuals, including Zainab’s uncle and brother. The prosecution had also used the forensic report establishing a DNA match and a polygraph test against Imran.

Moreover, Imran had confessed to his crime in court on the day of his indictment.

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