ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) adjourned on Thursday pronouncement of a judgment on an application seeking ‘immediate release’ of three suspects currently standing trial in the Imran Farooq murder case as the investigation authority failed to produce them before the court for the last six hearings.
ATC-I Judge Syed Kausar Abbas Zaidi deferred the verdict till April 12. The court had reserved verdict for April 7 after the counsel for the suspects, Mansoorur Rehman Afridi, moved application for their immediate release and concluded his arguments before the court.
Meanwhile, the judicial custody remand of the suspects was extended till April 21.
In his arguments, the counsel said that suspects, Khalid Shamim, Syed Mohsin Ali and Moazzam Ali Khan, have not been produced before the court for obtaining their remand in the case since January 8, 2016, which was a violation of Section 344 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Subsequently, he said, the suspects’ custody has now become illegal and they should immediately be released.
Afridi said that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) did not produce the suspects before the court and the court also did not take any notice of the investigation authority’s actions. He also said that the suspects were in solitary confinement at the jail and their fundamental rights were being violated.
He has prayed the court to take notice and issue order for immediate release of the suspects. The counsel has also moved bail application of a suspect, Moazzam Ali Khan, and the court has directed FIA to argue on bail application on April 7.
Meanwhile, the FIA has not yet submitted a charge sheet in the case before the court.
Two suspects, Khalid Shamim and Syed Mohsin Ali, have already recorded their confessional statements before the magistrate alleging that the slain Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader was killed as he was a “potent threat to the leadership of MQM.” Moazzam has not yet recorded confessional statement in the case.
On December 5, the FIA had registered a case against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain and other party leaders for their alleged involvement in the 2010 murder of Dr Imran Farooq. Farooq was stabbed and bludgeoned to death near his apartment.
The counter-terrorism wing of the FIA had registered the case under the relevant clauses of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2016.