ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Zahir Jaffer, the son of a billionaire businessman and the prime suspect in Noor Mukadam's murder case, was formally charged by the Islamabad High Court on Thursday along with 11 others for the criminal offense.
Two domestic helpers of the accused family - Jamil and Jan Mohammad - and Chief Executive Officer of the Therapy Works Tahir Zahoor were also among the 11 others charged.
Six out of the 12 persons indicted were brought to the court in Islamabad from Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail, while the six others had previously acquired bail from the court. All the individuals pleaded not guilty to the charges.
During the court's proceedings, Zahir kept on interrupting the court with his nonsense remarks.
Shaukat Mukadam, the father of the murdered woman, an ex-ambassador, was also present, and he reiterated his stance to fight for justice.
Zahir also apologized to Shaukat Mukadam and begged him for forgiveness in the courtroom.
"My life is in danger; please have mercy on me," Zahir said to Shaukat Mukadam.
The court concluded the proceedings by summoning the prosecution witnesses on October 20, issuing directives for the trial to be commenced immediately and completed within two months.
Noor Mukadam, a 27-year-old woman, was raped, murdered, and beheaded with a sharp instrument on July 20 in Islamabad's F-7 area.
The horrifying incident sparked a nationwide campaign seeking justice for her, with #JusticeforNoor that became a top trend on Twitter.