The Lahore High Court (LHC) is ready to look into a petition filed by Brig Ali Khan, a former military officer convicted by an army court, who has challenged the verdict saying he was tried when he was not accountable to the Pakistan Army Act.
Justice Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmed of the LHC’s Rawalpindi bench is going to take up the petition filed by Brig Ali on September 18 as the army officer has urged the court to set aside his conviction.
In a petition filed through Advocate Colonel (retd) Inamur Raheem, Brig Ali said he was tried for his connections with Hizbut Tahrir, when he was not even serving the army and hence cannot be prosecuted under the army act.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Raheem said that the petitioner has also asked the LHC to direct the military authorities to provide him with copies of the trial proceedings, which will inform him of the evidence and witnesses produced against him in the army court.
Criticising the verdict of the Field General Court Marshal (FGCM), Raheem stated that, under army laws, the maximum sentence for an accused facing charges of links with a proscribed organisation is not more than six months, whereas Brig Ali was punished with five years of rigorous imprisonment.
He further stated that an earlier petition filed by Brig Ali is still pending in the LHC.
Soon after Brig Ali was detained, he approached the high court saying he had retired before he was charged with conspiring against the military leadership. Under military laws, a retired man cannot be tried under the army act.
The military court, however, convicted Brig Ali along with four majors as a decision was yet to be taken on his petition by the LHC.
The military court had completed its proceedings on the case on June 20. During the course of the trial, the court recorded statements of five prosecution and two defence witnesses.
On August 3, the court convicted Brig Ali with five years of imprisonment, Major Inayat Aziz with 18 months, Major Iftikhar with 18 months, Major Sohail Akbar with three years and Major Jawad Baseer with two years, an Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) handout had stated.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2012.
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