An Islamabad district and sessions court has sentenced main accused Usman Mirza and four accomplices to life imprisonment for involvement in sexual harassment, torture and filming of a couple in Sector E-11 of the federal capital.
Judge Atta Rabbani announced the verdict on Friday for Mirza and four accomplices namely Mohib Bangash, Adaras Qayyum Butt, Hafiz Ataur Rehman and Farhan Shaheen.
Two other co-accused Umar Bilal Marwat and Rehan were acquitted in the case.
On July 6, 2021, a video went viral on social media in which a couple was held at gunpoint by the accused and forced to strip. A case was registered at the Golra police station on behalf of the couple.
In September last year, Mirza and six accomplices were indicted in the case, with the trial continuing for five and a half months.
The suspects were initially booked under sections 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 354A (assault or use of criminal force against woman and stripping her of her clothes), 506 (ii) (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Later, sections pertaining to rape, sexual abuse, extortion, and wrongful confinement were also included in the first information report.
During the trial of the case, at least 21 witnesses were grilled by the defence lawyers, while three officials, including a woman officer of the Federal Investigation Agency, recorded their statements as witnesses.
However, the case took a turn on January 11, when the victims retraced their statement against the accused and refused to recognise the culprits. The woman also submitted an affidavit to the court.
Soon, Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice Maleeka Bokhari announced the state would pursue the case irrespective of the "recent developments relating to victim's testimony".
The court issued a 44-page detailed judgement.