Shahbaz Bhatti’s murder case: ATC orders release of suspect

Published: June 26, 2011
Police failed to elicit information from suspect during five days of physical remand. PHOTO: FILE/AFP

Police failed to elicit information from suspect during five days of physical remand. PHOTO: FILE/AFP


An anti-terrorism court on Saturday ordered the release of a suspect held in connection with the murder of former federal minister for minority affairs Shahbaz Bhatti, after the police failed to produce any evidence against him.

Special Judge ATC-II Syed Pervaiz Ali Shah directed the I-9 Industrial Area police to free Hafiz Nazar Muhammad, while denying an extension of physical remand for the suspect.

SHO Sajjad Bukhari submitted before the court a request for the extension of the physical remand for eight more days, after Hafiz Nazar was already interrogated for five days.

Muhammad was arrested on June 19, after he made calls to different persons claiming he knew about the assassins of the former federal minister.

The judge asked the police whether the suspect was nominated in the FIR and if they had managed to obtain any useful information from him.

However, the SHO could not come up with a satisfactory answer, resulting in the court’s direction to set him free.

The investigators had informed the court that Hafiz Nazar was traced through his cell phone after he made several calls to different persons, including minorities MPA Tahir Nazeer Chaudhry claiming he knew of Bhatti’s assassins.

It was on March 2 this year that an unidentified person riding a white Mehran car shot Bhatti dead at I-8 Markaz as he was going to his office after meeting his ailing mother.

Bhatti, the only Christian in the federal cabinet, was killed in Islamabad on March 2 this year by three unidentified gunmen.

The killers left a note stating they had killed Bhatti because he had raised his voice against the blasphemy laws.

Taseer assassination case

Meanwhile on Saturday, defence lawyers in the case of the assassination of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer cross-examined the magistrate who recorded the confessional statement of the self confessed killed Mumtaz Qadri.

Special Judge Anti Pervaiz Ali Shah put of the hearing of the case till July 2, after leading defence lawyer Malik Muhammad Rafiq completed the cross-examiantion of Assistant Commissioner Muhammad Ali Randhawa.

The AC in its statement had said that Qadri, a constable of Punjab’s elite force, had confessed killing former governor for criticising the blasphemy laws.

The defence lawyers, on the other hand, have been claiming that the confessional statement of Qadri was obtained through coercive measures.

The hearing of the case of the murder of Taseer, who was shot dead in Islamabad on January 4 this year, was taken up after over a month.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2011.


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Reader Comments (9)

  • Asmat Jamal
    Jun 25, 2011 - 8:55PM

    . I wish our Judiciary shows same rapidity in releasing innocent incarcerated in jails awaiting their release since years. I also wish that cases of other people awaiting justice are expedited. Strange coincidence that people accused of terrorism are mostly released in days while petty criminals takes decades to get justice.Recommend

  • Jun 25, 2011 - 9:19PM

    So once again , what we were thinking of as a break through in the murder case of Late Shahbaz Bhatti , the police of our country simply cant find leads towards making progress in this case like all previous instances .
    Some one really needs to do something about prosecution in this country or simply abolish the Police department cause its of no use.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jun 25, 2011 - 10:27PM

    While the army dictator Zia, Lahore HC, and Pakistan SC hanged the first elected PM of Pakistan despite the protests and out-cry in the whole world. There were no eye-witnesses, direct orders, murder weapon or any other smoking gun that could relate ZAB with the murder. In fact the case was re-tried after it was closed due to the lack of evidence. With the imposition of martial law Zia manipulated the higher judiciary and forced the CJ out and several judges retired and still could not get a unanimous verdict against ZAB, yet he was hanged by the general and his army govt.
    However, when it comes to religious terrorists and killers of many peaceful civilians no proofs are ever found and they walk freely. The much maligned police even arrest them but the Islamist judiciary aligned with JI and likes, never finds any reason to keep these terrorists in jail for more than a few days or weeks. The current sitting judges of SC were all still working when they did not decide a single case against political leaders and yet some of them were kept in jail for over a decade! Why did these same judges not provide any justice to political detainees? Keeping innocent people in jail for decades without bail and yet not proving any charges is the most shameless example of justices now call themselves independent judiciary. As soon as the CJ of SC, army and ISI chiefs got their service extension, all the talk of three decades old Swiss Cases stopped by magic. However, these cases still remain on the books and can be activated anytime the political govt starts acting independently! It is only the right wing terrorists who get the swift justice and prompt acquittal, so they can never be tried again for the same crime ever in their lives. It is only the first elected PM that can be re-tried till hanged by the mullah/military/judiciary alliance. Recommend

  • lucky
    Jun 26, 2011 - 8:40AM

    List itestrong textm

    in pakistan its impossible to catch murder.who served for islamRecommend

  • Humanity
    Jun 26, 2011 - 8:40AM

    According to the blasphemous constitution of the bastion of Islam, killing minorities and the falsely accused blasphemers is not a crime. So why waste time is such shenanigans. Whom are these demagogues trying to fool? God, the victims, or themselves?Recommend

  • Ba ha
    Jun 26, 2011 - 12:10PM

    The US judge was not that eager to release even a shot & wounded woman accused of snatching a gun from a Gi joe. Our judges are quite impatient to release everyone before their august vacartionsRecommend

  • Jun 26, 2011 - 1:47PM

    Mr. Mirza. Do you have anything to do at all? All posts get your respected analysis. Have you read the analysis or detailed judgments of courts in this issue? Digging up old cases of judiciary to prove your point is not the solution. Bring up old points of everyone than!.. Military/Politicians/Bureaucrats. Why restrict it to Military/Mullahs alone?….

    Please save your breath! Judicial processes got a new life after the dictator Mush was done with. Give them some time. They are moving in right directions. They have made us proud with many cases based on merits.

    Besides provision of evidence is not the job of judiciary. Its the job of executive! If they can’t even find a solid evidence than how is judge supposed to punish the suspect? (don’t quote examples of past. judiciary wasnt even free in those military eras). Why are is the government not bringing back the dictator guy despite orders by court?Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Jun 26, 2011 - 6:53PM

    It is very difficult to convict any person related to our “Outfits”. Rather impossible. Judiciary is only to maim ordinary citizen or lesser powerful. Sham system in our country.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jun 27, 2011 - 10:00AM

    @M. Uzair Sukhera: You wrote:
    “Mr. Mirza. Do you have anything to do at all? All posts get your respected analysis. Have you read the analysis or detailed judgments of courts in this issue? Digging up old cases of judiciary to prove your point is not the solution.”

    Have you ever heard about multi-tasking, efficiency or hard work? I have overcome the laziness of my culture and God has helped me to think and express myself fast? Sorry if you have a problem with that, try to complaint to God. I do not appreciate personal comments so please refrain from personal comments. I would greatly appreciate if you correct my mistakes in my posts or if I have lied. It is free media and everybody is entitled to give their opinion. I did not see any actual correction you have pointed out in my posting. I do not want to start anything personal and it is my only posting regarding your personal comments.Recommend

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