Complainant, witnesses record testimonies before ATC in online ‘blasphemy' case

Counsels of accused to cross examine complainant, witnesses today


Our Correspondent January 08, 2018
Counsels of accused to cross examine complainant, witnesses today. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Three witnesses on Monday recorded their statements before an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in a case pertaining to posting and sharing blasphemous content on the social media sites.

The complainant, Ehtesham Ahmed, and two witnesses, Roman Ahmed and Ammar Yasir, gave their statements before the ATC Judge, Shahrukh Arjumand, against the four suspects charged with online blasphemy.

Due to the absence of a counsel for an accused, cross examination could not be completed on Monday. The court directed the counsel to cross examine the complainant and the witnesses on Jan 9 [today].

ATC asks FIA to arrest complainant, witnesses

On the previous hearing, the court had issued non-bailable warrants of arrest for the complainant and witnesses over their failure to appear before the court.

The complainant is a member of the Shuhada Foundation of Pakistan which came into existence after the 2007 military operation at Islamabad’s Lal Masjid.

Earlier, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had submitted a charge-sheet against the four suspects.

PML-Q warns against any changes to blasphemy laws

The FIA had registered an FIR No. 07/2017 under sections 295-A, 295-B, 295-C, 298, 298-A, 298-B, 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Sec 11 of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016, (PECA), 2016, and Sections 6(f), 7(h), 8 & 9 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, ‪on March 19.

Earlier, the ATC had dismissed bail plea of one of the suspects, said to be a college professor.

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