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HomeNationalSarah murder case: court extends remands of Ayaz Amir, Shahnawaz

Sarah murder case: court extends remands of Ayaz Amir, Shahnawaz

Suspect’s mother granted three-day bail, says she is neither a suspect nor a witness

An Islamabad district and sessions court on Monday extended the physical remands of the main suspect in the Sarah Inam murder case, Shahnawaz Amir, and his father Ayaz Amir.

Shahnawaz was arrested last week for allegedly killing his Canadian national wife. The incident took place at a farmhouse located in Shahzad Town where the suspect lived along with his mother. His father and senior journalist Ayaz Amir was also arrested for his alleged involvement. Both Shahnawaz and Ayaz were presented in the court of Civil Judge Muhammad Amir Aziz after their remands expired.

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During the hearing, the police requested an extension in the remand of the suspects by seven days.

“We are yet to seize their passports and bank accounts,” the investigating officer (IO) said.

The judge inquired about Ayaz’s role in the case.

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“He has been nominated by the victim’s uncle and aunt,” the IO replied, elaborating that the journalist hailed from Chakwal and was the main suspect’s father.

The judge also asked about the whereabouts of the victim’s parents, to which the IO said that they were in Canada and would reach Pakistan today (Tuesday).

During the hearing, Ayaz said that he would “fight the case” himself. “We are traumatised. I informed the police about the incident myself. I was in Chakwal when the crime took place and informed the inspector general (IG) myself,” the journalist said, adding that in the absence of the IG, the senior superintendent was informed. He said he had informed the police about the location of the farmhouse. “But the police only gave their stance in the FIR. They never mentioned me in the complaint. The police are saying Sarah’s uncle recorded a statement. If you have accused me, present the evidence,” he contended, claiming that in such incidents, the crime scene was “often tampered” with.

Ayaz also said that he had told Shahnawaz’s mother, Sameena Shah, not to let him leave the house. “In the one-day remand, the police didn’t ask me anything. They have just taken away my mobile phone,” he added.

For his part, the prosecutor argued that Ayaz was named in the complaint by the victim’s family. “Her parents will reach Islamabad (today). They have all the proof,” he said.

Subsequently, the court extended Shahnawaz’s remand by three days, while Ayaz’s remanded was extended by a day.

Separately, Sameena Shah was granted three-day bail by the sessions court against surety bonds Rs50,000.

Earlier in the day, she had filed a petition seeking pre-arrest bail in the case after police issued an arrest warrant for Sameena.

In the petition, she presented her version of the incident, stating that Shahnawaz had sent her a message on WhatsApp “before the heinous crime, to arrange the rukhsati of the deceased by speaking to the deceased’s father”.

“Everything was normal the night before the crime took place,” she said in the petition.

Sameena said she slept after receiving the message and was informed about the incident by Shahnawaz, who had called her on her mobile phone at 9:12am the next day.

Thereafter, Sameena rushed to Shahnawaz’s room, the petition said, adding that by the time she reached the room, Sarah had already died.

“The petitioner asked Shahnawaz to sit in her room and Ayaz … had called the police, and within few minutes, the police had arrived and took custody of Shahnawaz,” the plea read.

Sameena termed the FIR “false and frivolous” and stated that she had no connection with the case or the murder. “But her name is being mentioned by the media that an application has been moved for her arrest,” the petition said. Reiterating that Sameena had no connection with the murder “and was not even an eyewitness to the incident”, the plea stated that “her reputable name is being added for no reason but to jeopardise her years [of] reputation, which clearly establishes the mala fide intent and ulterior motives”.

Moreover, the plea mentioned that Sameena was an elderly woman with health issues and said she was willing to furnish sureties against the bail, as well as “comply with an investigation that may be conducted by law enforcement agencies”.

Hearing the petition, Judge Sheikh Sohail accepted Sameena’s plea and instructed her to join the investigation in the case.

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