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Usman Mirza, four others awarded life sentence in Islamabad couple assault case

ISLAMABAD – An additional and sessions court in the federal capital Friday sentenced five suspects, including prime accused Usman Mirza, to life imprisonment in the Islamabad couple harassment case.

The court announced the verdict after prosecution and defence counsels completed their arguments in the case.

Besides Usman Mirza, the sessions court has awarded life sentence to Ataur Rehman, Adras Qayyum Butt, Mohib Bangash and Farhan Shaheen while two suspects Umar Bilal and Rehan were acquitted in the case.

The incident occurred in July last year that triggered outcry as four persons forced a couple to strip at gunpoint and then assaulted them.

The sentence has been given to the suspects in the case on the basis of evidence collected by using modern technology as the main female victim had deviated from her statement. 

Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry appreciated the court for accepting the modern technology as evidence. 

Back in January this year, the female victim, who was harassed at E-11 flat of country’s federal capital took a U-turn as she refused to recognize the accused men.

The victim withdrew her statement and submitted an affidavit to state for the record that she will no longer be pursuing the case however the woman, in an initial statement to the magistrate, said the accused had threatened to gang-rape her if she did not engage in a lewd act with her friend while they filmed it.

She also stated that no one tried to assault her sexually, nor did anyone record her, in a shocking turn of events while she earlier mentioned to perform nude dance in front of Usman and his accomplices revealing that she was assaulted when she refused.

As the victim retracted the statement, Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered federal authorities to submit a progress report on the pursuit of the case. PM’s aide on communication said that aside from the Islamabad harassment case, the premier has sought a report on the motorway rape case as well.

Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice Barrister Maleeka Bokhari had said the state would now pursue prosecution in light of irrefutable evidence on record.

Earlier, seven, including prime culprit Usman Mirza, were indicted in the Islamabad couple harassment case. Islamabad High Court had also rejected the bail appeals of the three accused and directed the authorities to complete Usman Mirza’s trial case in two months.

Courtesy: Daily Pakistan

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