Junaid Hafeez’s Counsels Say ‘Lawyers Operating As Mafias’ Influenced Verdict
Following the awarding of death sentence to academic Junaid Hafeez, his family and lawyers have released a statement saying that lawyers operating as mafias influenced the verdict.
In the statement, they have called the decision an unfortunate verdict which had less to do with the legal merits of the case and more to do with the socio-political environment in which the lower judiciary operated.
The statement said that the fairness of Junaid Hafeez’s trial had came into question when his counsel Rashid Rehman was murdered and those involved were never apprehended.
Junaid Hafeez’s counsels also emphasised that Rehman’s murder had created fear and put off other lawyers from pursuing his case, adding that failure to bring the murderers to justice had signaled impunity for other would-be vigilantes.
They also lamented how judges had been transferred, seven in six years, or had been pressured by groups of lawyers operating as mafias.
The statement further said that injustice in the case of Junaid Hafeez had given rise to questions about how the judicial institutions, prosecution service, the police and prison authorities worked in this country.
Moreover, they have argued that the incarceration of Junaid Hafeez in solitary confinement prior to conviction amounted to cruel and inhuman punishment.
They have further said that an appeal in the high court would be filed soon against the verdict and expressed the hope that justice would be served without delay.