The prosecution in the Wali Babar murder case is still wondering if it will be able to continue the trial with the security it has been provided.
On October 19, the Sindh High Court had ordered security for the lawyers, complainant and witnesses to help conclude the case within 45 days. The high-profile trial is being held inside the Karachi Central Jail over security fears. Out of the 23 witnesses listed in the case, only seven have so far testified.
“There was only one police mobile and that is insufficient,” said Anti Terrorism Court-III prosecutor Abdul Maroof. “We have informed the police department that we will not be able to continue like this.” On Friday, a judicial magistrate testified that one of the suspects, Mohammad Shahrukh, had confessed his involvement in killing the journalist. A witness had also identified the other men accused in the case in the presence of the magistrate.
The examination was conducted by Abdul Maroof, who was assisted by Mohammad Khan Buriro. Buriro has earlier served as a prosecutor in the Anti-Terrorism Court-I and was also the prosecutor in the Sarfaraz Shah case – the extrajudicial killing of a teenage boy in a Clifton park by Rangers.
The suspects – Mohammad Shahrukh alias Mani, Faisal alias Nafsiyati, Mohammad Shakeel, Naveed Shah alias Polka and Syed Mohammad Ali Rizvi alias Ali – have all been charged with murder with common intent and under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act. Five other men – Kamran alias Zeeshan, Junaid, Saeed, Liaquat and Faisal – have been declared fugitives. The case was registered by the Liaquatabad supermarket police. Wali Khan Babar, a reporter working with Geo Television, was shot dead on January 13, 2011. The next hearing will be on November 7.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 4th, 2012.