LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) hearing the rape and murder case of seven-year-old Zainab will announced its verdict today sentencing Imran Ali Naqshbandi to death, four times.

Zainab’s father, Mohammad Amin, reached the court earlier today amid high security, to hear the verdict.

The defence and prosecution concluded their arguments earlier this week in the high-profile case, which was heard inside Kot Lakhpat Jail where the accused, Imran Ali Naqshbandi, is jailed on remand.

A total of 56 witnesses including Zainab’s uncle and brother recorded their statements against Imran. The prosecutor informed the court that the forensic report and polygraph test proved that Imran murdered Zainab.

On Wednesday, the ATC held a nine-hour long hearing wherein it recorded the statement of the primary suspect and statements of witnesses.

Also on Wednesday, the accused’s private counsel informed the judge that after Imran Ali’s confession, his conscience did not permit him to represent a hardened criminal. Imran had confessed to the crime on the first day of the trial after his indictment.

Seven-year-old Zainab was kidnapped from near her aunt’s house in Kasur on January 4 and was found dead in a garbage heap five days later. On January 23, the authorities claimed to have nabbed the suspect, a serial killer involved in other such crimes, through a DNA match.

Imran was arrested on January 23. His DNA also matched samples taken from seven other minor girls who were abused and murdered earlier in Kasur, according to the police.

After the police arrested Imran, the suspect reportedly confessed to assaulting eight minor girls at an under-construction site and two others in a garbage heap in Kasur.

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