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Zainab’s rapist, murderer handed down death penalty

LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court of Lahore on Saturday handed down death penalty on four counts to the prime accused in the rape and murder case of seven-year-old Zainab Amin in Kasur.

ATC Judge Sajjad Ahmad awarded capital punishment to accused Imran Ali on four counts, life term, additional imprisonment of 7 years and Rs3.2 million fine.

The judge handed down capital punishment on two counts for kidnapping and subjecting the minor to sexual abuse and on two more counts for murdering her and committing an act of terrorism under anti-terror law.

He was awarded life sentence for sodomy and seven years of jail term for dumping her dead body in a trash heap.

He was directed to pay a collective fine of Rs3.2 million.

The victim’s father expressed satisfaction over the court verdict, saying it would help bring some closure to such grisly incidents in the country.

How trial commenced

The ATC judge had reserved the verdict after recording testimonies of prosecution witnesses as well as arguments of defense and prosecution sides.

The trial was held on daily basis inside Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail starting from Feb 10 when the prime accused was indicted in the rape and murder case of little Zainab.

The government had declared the arrest of suspect Imran Ali on January 23.

The ATC judge recorded testimonies of as many as 36 prosecution witnesses, who included forensic experts, medical board members, the joint investigation team members and members of other investigation teams.

During the course of trial, the suspect also confessed the crime before the court. His lawyer Mehar Shakeel Multani withdrew his power of attorney after his confessional statement.

Imran Ali has also been booked in at least nine cases of rape and murder of minor girls in Kasur.

The court conducted trial on a fast-track basis in order to meet the deadline set by the Supreme Court and the Lahore High Court.

Who was Zainab

Zainab, who went missing on January 4 from Kasur’s Kot Road area, was found raped, dead and buried in a trash heap in Kasur on Jan 9.

The horrific incident triggered widespread outrage and protests across the country with people calling for public execution of the culprit.

The incident blew the lid on the horrifying reality of how children in a brutalized society are vulnerable to sexual abuse.

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