Qandeel’s killers to face trial next week

Qandeel Baloch. PHOTO: FACEBOOK

Qandeel Baloch. PHOTO: FACEBOOK

ISLAMABAD: The suspected killers of social media starlet Qandeel Baloch will face trial at a Multan sessions court —the hometown of model and actress— next week, police said.

“Police will submit a challan of the “honour killing” case at the trial court within the next five to six days,” a senior police official, requesting anonymity, told The Express Tribune on Friday.

“The exact number of accused, including Baloch’s brother Muhammad Waseem and cousin Haq Nawaz, will be revealed in the final challan,” the official added.

Waseem, the prime accused, had reportedly told interrogators that Nawaz had helped him kill Baloch. However, police suspect some other relatives to be also involved in the crime.

Qandeel Baloch strangled to death by brother in suspected honour killing

The official went on to claim that investigators were quizzing some 15-20 suspects in connection with Baloch’s killing. “The scope of the investigation has been expanded and it is not confined to the prime and co-accused anymore.”

The police official said before submitting the challan at the trial court, a public prosecutor would examine investigation reports, proposed evidences and a list of witnesses to ensure a strong case for prosecution.

Fauzia Azeem, popularly known as Qandeel Baloch, was suffocated to death with a pillow or a heavy object at her Multan residence last month, police said. Later, it was reported that she had been strangled to death with a rope in her bedroom by her brother.

Mufti Abdul Qavi still part of investigation

Regarding the role of noted cleric Mufti Abdul Qavi in the case, Police Focal Person Nabila Ghazanfar told The Express Tribune that Qavi was still part of the investigation as the probe was still underway.

The cleric had to face the investigation without being arrested till last week but police have been unable to determine his role in the episode.

Police yet to decide Mufti Qavi’s role in Qandeel ‘honour killing’

After initial investigations, the former member of the government appointed moon-sighting committee had told newsmen that he stood exonerated. However, in her spontaneous response to a question regarding Qavi’s vindication, Ghazafar said, “No, he is still part of the investigation.”

In a telephonic conversation with the correspondent, the cleric had introduced himself as Abdul Qavi, adviser to Pakistan Federal Shariat Court and Chief Qazi of Islami Adalat-i-Insaf Pakistan (Chief Justice of the Islamic Court of Justice). However, he refused to be interviewed on the “honour killing” case and his infamous meeting with the social media starlet.

Qavi was suspended from the moon-sighting- committee and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) after his “objectionable” videos with Baloch had gone viral on social media.

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