An Islamabad district and sessions court was informed on Thursday that all the evidence collected in the Sarah Inam murder case proves that her husband Shahnawaz Amir, the prime suspect and husband of the victim, is guilty of murdering his wife, reports Dawn.

In the latest hearing, Rao Abdur Rahim, counsel for Sarah’s father, told Sessions Judge Nasir Javed Rana that a forensic analysis revealed two photos were found in Shahnawaz’s phone, one of which was of the victim. He said it showed Sarah’s body, covered with a white cloth, lying in the room. The photo, he added, was also sent through WhatsApp. He did not mention to whom it was sent.

According to Shahnawaz’s testimony, there was no disagreement between him and the victim. “We have found a document from the accused’s mobile phone which is dated prior to Sarah’s arrival in Pakistan,” the lawyer said, adding that testimonies could lie but documents could not. He mentioned in the court, “The victim’s phone was destroyed when she reached the accused’s house. She was at his mercy.”

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Rao further said that the postmortem report showed there were bruises on Sarah’s body, her bones were broken, and all these injuries were inflicted while the victim was still alive. “How is it possible that Samina Shah didn’t hear a thing while Sarah was tortured to this extent,” he asked while reminding the court that there were only three people in the house at the time of the murder — Shahnawaz, his mother, and Sarah. 

The lawyer also highlighted that the accused had said he didn’t divorce Sarah, but his phone record showed otherwise. Moreover, the DVR at Shahnawaz’s house was removed just two days before the crime, he added.

“All this evidence proves Shahnawaz’s crime,” Rao asserted, comparing the murder with the Noor Mukadam case. He then pleaded to the court to hand the death penalty to the accused and concluded his arguments.

Subsequently, Prosecutor Rana Hassan Abbas presented counter-arguments. He said the incident was neither reported by the police nor the suspect. “The victim was an educated and talented woman,” he told the court, recalling that Sarah married Shahnawaz last year.

According to the evidence collected from the accused’s mobile phone, Sarah called Shahnawaz on Sept 18 — five days before her alleged murder — the prosecutor said and read out loud the transcript of the conversation. “The accused blocked Sarah multiple times and even threatened her,” he said, adding that the victim was just requesting that her parents be given a chance to see her off in an honourable way.

“Three messages in this chat were deleted that were possibly related to divorce,” prosecutor Abbas suggested. The last message sent by Shahnawaz was on September 20 after which Sarah landed in Pakistan on September 22 and stayed with the accused and his mother.

On the day of the murder, he continued, Samina told the police that her son committed the murder after which evidence — including the murder weapon — was collected from the crime scene. “Shahnawaz’s DNA was found from the injuries on Sarah’s body,” Abbas said, adding that the accused’s clothes were smeared with blood.

He added that passports and mobile phones were also seized.

Here, Judge Rana asked the prosecutor how much more time he would need, to which Abbas replied 20 minutes. The judge, however, said he had a meeting to attend and adjourned the hearing till Monday, November 20.

Shahnawaz, the son of noted political analyst and commentator Ayyaz Amir, was arrested on September 2023 last year from his farmhouse in Islamabad. Sarah was reportedly murdered just a day after she arrived in the country from Dubai where she had been working. Her husband was initially remanded to police custody a day after his arrest and the period of his physical remand was extended several times.

Shahnawaz’s father, Ayaz Amir was discharged from the case and his mother Sameena Shah, nominated as co-accused in the case, was granted post-arrest bail in November last year.

The postmortem revealed that Sarah had suffered multiple head fractures leading to her death.

Read more: Court summons Sarah Inam’s husband