MULTAN: A Multan court has formally charged Qandeel Baloch’s brother, his cousin and a taxi driver with murdering the social media star in July. The suspects have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
On Tuesday, the Multan additional sessions judge indicted the three suspects and adjourned the hearing till December 8 for starting the trial with witness testimonies.
On Monday, the judge had ordered the police to present the three men named Waseem Baloch, Haq Nawaz and Abdul Basit in court.
Qandeel’s brother Waseem and cousin Nawaz have been charged with murder while two other men, including the taxi driver Abdul, have been charged with conspiracy to murder and facilitation.
In the previous hearing, the other accused Zafar Zain Khosa, Nawaz’s brother-in-law, was declared an absconder on his failure to attend court proceedings despite the issuance of an arrest warrant against him. Zafar has reportedly fled to the Middle East after he was released on bail.
Abdul has already been granted bail by the Lahore High Court’s Multan bench. He filed the bail plea after police arrested him for facilitating the alleged killers.
In his bail plea, he contended the other accused had booked his taxi in Dera Ghazi Khan to come to the house of Qandeel back in July. He stayed outside the house during the entire episode as evident by the footage of cameras installed outside the house. He claimed he had no idea what was happening inside the house.
When arrested soon after Qandeel’s murder, Waseem publicly confessed to strangling his 26-year-old sister for bringing ‘dishonour’ to the family with his bold and risqué social media posts.
The model-cum-actor-cum-singer was found strangled in her house at Karimabad, Multan on July 16.
Now that Waseem has been charged for murder, trial will begin in one of Pakistan’s high-profile honour killing cases.