ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – The prosecution team in Zain muder case Tuesday told Supreme Court of Pakistan that witnesses and petitioners withdrew their statements after receiving money from the prime accused Mustafa Kanju, who is son of a former federal minister.

Hearing the suo moto notice over acquittal of all six accused in the murder case, a three member bench, comprising of Justice Amir Hani Muslim, Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik and Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, has summoned all witnesses, petitioners and defendants on November 16.

During the proceeding the case record of anti-terrorism court and police statements of all witnesses were presented before the court. At which the bench asked whether police has provided any protection to the witnesses and petitioners because the prime accused is a powerful person and he can use his influence in the case.

The prosecution told judges that witnesses, that included eye-witnesses and others, initially testified that Mustafa Kanju and all five other accused were responsible for the murder of 16-years-old orphan boy Zain. However when presented before ATC the witness withdrew their prior statements and said that they did not clrealy see the culprits at time of murder, the team maintained.

The court ordered IG Punjab Police to provide protection to the witnesses, petitioners and their families in the murder case.

The hearing was adjourned till November 16.

Earlier, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) on October 27 ordered to release Mustafa Kanju, the son of former federal minister, and five others in Zain murder case when all of the witnesses reverted their statements before court failing to identify them as murders.

The court had reserved verdict after completion of arguments on September 24 in Kanju’s acquittal case.

According to the court order prosecution failed to prove the case against son of former federal minister and none of the mentioned eye-witnesses identified him as a culprit.