A sessions court in Islamabad on Friday sentenced the prime accused in the E-11 couple sexual assault case, Usman Mirza, and four others to life imprisonment while two other accused were acquitted.
Additional Sessions Judge Ata Rabbani delivered the verdict. Those sentenced include Usman Mirza, Idris Qayyum Butt, Mohib Khan Bangash, Hafiz Ataur Rehman, Farhan Shaheen while accused Umar Bilal Marwat and Rehan Hussain were acquitted.
Usman and his accomplices were sentenced under Section 354-A (assault or use of criminal force to a woman and stripping her of her clothes) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
A fine of Rs200,000 was also imposed on each of the convicts. Failure to pay the fine would entail an additional six months of imprisonment.
The trial of the case commenced on July 6, 2021, after videos of the incident went viral on social media.
On September 28, 2021, the seven accused, including Usman Mirza, were indicted by the court.
On January 12, ruling PTI lawmaker and Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice Barrister Maleeka Bokhari said that the state would now pursue prosecution in the Usman Mirza case ‘irrespective of recent developments’ relating to the victim’s testimony.
“Irrefutable video and forensic evidence on record- anyone harassing & stripping a woman must face the full force of the law,” said the lawmaker.
The development came after the victims in the case retracted their statement against the accused including the main suspect Usman Mirza.
The couple in their written affidavit had told the trial court that they did not want to pursue the case against the accused.