LAHORE - An anti-terrorism court on Wednesday recorded statement of Imran Ali, alleged rapist and killer of seven-year old Zainab Amin of Kasur, with directives to lawyers of both sides to come up with arguments.

ATC-I Judge Sajjad Ahmad held proceedings for nine hours at Kot Lakhpat Jail. Advocate Mehr Shakeel Multani, counsel for Imran Ali, withdrew his power of attorney and said that he was backing off from the case. He said after confessional statement of Imran Ali, he did not want to plead his case. “My consciousness doesn’t allow me to plead case of such a criminal,” said Multani before the judge.

Muhammad Sultan has been nominated counsel for Imran by the prosecutor general of Punjab.

The court recorded statements of 33 witnesses and adjourned the proceedings till Thursday (today). The court also directed lawyers of both sides to conclude their arguments on the matter. It is likely that the trial court would reserve the verdict and announce it within the next 24 hours. The LHC had already ordered the trial court to conclude the case within seven days. On Feb 9, police charged the murderer and rapist of seven-year old Kasur girl of serial killing of at least seven other minor girls, as young as five.

The high-powered joint investigation team submitted its 175-page findings report to the anti-terrorism court and produced the handcuffed suspect before the judge amid tight security.

After thirteen days of interrogation, Ali was charged with eight rape and execution-style murders that sparked countrywide outrage and brought international condemnation.

Police in “challan” (investigation report) included 55 witnesses and said that his DNA report matched with the seven cases apart from Zainab Amin case.

Zainab Amin was abducted on January 4 near her aunt’s house in Kasur where she was going to learn Quran. Her body was found at a heap of garbage near her house.