Pakistan

Shahnawaz Amir Sentenced to Death in Sarah Inam Murder Case

In a significant development in the Sarah Inam murder case, the accused Shahnawaz Amir has been sentenced to death by a district and sessions court in Islamabad. The verdict was delivered by Sessions Judge Nasir Javaid Rana. In addition to the death sentence, the court also imposed a penalty of Rs1 million on Shahnawaz Amir.

Sarah Inam, a 37-year-old economist, was allegedly murdered by her husband, Shahnawaz Amir, in Islamabad’s Chak Shahzad area on September 23, 2022. Shahnawaz Amir, who is the son of journalist Ayaz Amir, was detained by the police from a farmhouse in Islamabad’s Chak Shahzad area for being a suspect in his wife’s murder. He later confessed to killing her, stating that he “thought” his spouse was having an affair. The couple had been married for just three months.

The next day, a trial court approved the arrest warrants of Ayaz Amir and his former wife Sameena Shah, as the two were nominated as suspects by Sarah’s family. Amir was arrested while his former wife later acquired pre-arrest bail.

In the police report registered following the murder, an additional clause of Section 109 (punishment for abetment) of the Pakistan Penal Code was added at the request of Sarah’s uncles Colonel (retd) Ikram and Zia-ur-Rahim who have blamed Ayaz and his former wife for their daughter-in-law’s murder.

In a hearing that took place on September 27, 2022, Ayaz Amir was released from the case by an Islamabad court, citing a lack of evidence linking him to Sarah’s murder. Fast forward to February 6, 2023, Shahnawaz faced charges related to the illegal possession of a Kalashnikov firearm, to which he pleaded not guilty. However, on November 27, 2023, the court decided to give Shahnawaz the benefit of the doubt, leading to his acquittal in the case.

Sarah Inam, who held Canadian citizenship, had a successful career as an economist, having worked with notable organizations like Deloitte and USAID. She was a proud alumna of the University of Waterloo, where she earned her master’s degree. At the time of her demise, she was serving in the government sector in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to her friends and family. Sarah’s legacy continues through her father, mother, and two elder brothers, who survive her.

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