Shahzeb Murder Case : Two young men from wealthy Karachi families were sentenced to death today after being found guilty in a murder case that revealed the power of social media and civil society groups. The case also sparked widespread debate over whether Pakistan’s elite could be held accountable for crimes they committed.
Shahrukh Jatoi and Nawab Siraj Talpur were handed the death penalty after being found guilty of shooting dead university student Shahzeb Khan last December. The incident took place after Mr Khan was returning from a family wedding and got into a argument with one of Mr Talpur’s servants. The servant had apparently made comments to Mr Khan’s sister.
According to the judgement, the court has penalized all four accused with Rs 500,000 fine while Sajjad Talpur and Murtaza Lashari will serve an additional one-year imprisonment for harassing Shahzeb’s sister.
Shahzeb Khan, 20, was shot dead on the night between December 24 and 25 last year. Seven people including Shahrukh Jatoi, Nawab Siraj Talpur his brother Sajjad Talpur and their employee Murtaza Lashari were booked in the murder case.
However, the court declared three accused as absconders as they are still at large.
Under anti-terrorism laws, cases are decided within seven days but proceedings in the aforesaid case were completed in two months and 20 days given the complex nature of case.
During the course of the trial the ATC had upheld its decision of declaring key accused Shahzeb an adult after reviewing the ossification report and other documentary evidence.
She rejected all the reports about her family willing to strike a deal with the accused, by accepting blood money. She dubbed such reports an effort to vilify her family.
According to the Associated Press, defence lawyer Hummol Zubedi confirmed the court’s decision but said that the defendants would appeal it. He claimed the prosecution’s case was badly flawed. He also confirmed that Sajjad Talpur and Mustafa Lashari had been sentenced to life in prison for their role in the murder.