ATC in Karachi acquits two accused in kidnapping, murder case

The court seeks SHC guidance over transfer of case to Islamabad

Our Correspondent May 19, 2019

KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) acquitted two accused on Saturday in the kidnapping and murder case for want of evidence against them.

Announcing its verdict the special ATC acquitted the two accused, Hanif Memon and Abdul Khaliq, of the murder and kidnapping charges due to lack of evidence.

Ranchor Lane police had registered the case against the accused in 2013. They were accused of kidnapping a man named Syed Zahid and throwing his dead body in the garbage dump of Baghdadi after killing him.

Defence lawyer Advocate Shaukat Hayat maintained that accused Hanif Memon is the chief polling agent of Sheerazi brothers and he had been targeted for political revenge. He was arrested from Thatta with his driver during the by-elections and their arrest was confirmed three months later.

Money laundering case

Meanwhile another ATC had written a letter to the Sindh High Court (SHC) seeking its guidance regarding the transfer of money laundering case against Khidmat-i-Khalq Foundation (KKF) to Islamabad.

The letter seeks the clearance if a trial court has the authority to transfer the case or not? According to the letter, SHC has been requested to give direction if the case would be tried by Islamabad high court or the trial court in Karachi. According to the investigation officer, FIA through a letter informed the trial court after transferring the case to Islamabad.

Senator Ahmed Ali is on bail in the case. MQM founder, Altaf Hussain, Babar Ghori, Khuwaja Sohail Mansoor and Khuwaja Rehan Mansoor are on the run in the case. The accused face the charge of money laundering to the tune of Rs500 million from five KKF accounts.

Hate-speech case

A special ATC adjourned the hearing of 26 cases pertaining to hate speech while expressing annoyance over the absence of lawyers. Special anti-terrorism court was hearing the 26 hate speech cases at Karachi Central Jail. The court expressed annoyance over the absence of lawyers and remarked that "do you want to continue the case or not? It has been three years, sometimes the accused is not available and sometimes lawyers are absent and in the end court gets a bad name."

MQM leader Rauf Siddiqui told the court that in two of the cases, A-class report was submitted in ATC-X few months ago but no action is being taken on it. This becomes source of inconvenience even for the lawyers. The court told him to discuss this matter in the relevant court. The court adjourned the hearing till June 13 due to the absence of lawyers.

Dr Asim case

A special ATC reserved the verdict on the plea filed by Rangers officials to summon the judicial magistrate who recorded the statement of an accused in the case against Dr Asim Hussain pertaining to provision of medical facilities to terrorists.

Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) President Anis Kaimkhani, Qadir Patel, Rauf Siddique and Usman Muazzam appeared before the court. The court accepted the exemption from court appearance plea filed on behalf of Dr Asim.

Counsel for Rangers, Sajid Mehboob Sheikh, argued that the former administrator of Ziauddin Hospital, Dr Yousuf Sattar, revealed major facts before the judicial magistrate. The terrorists had been provided medical facilities at Dr Asim's hospital, said Sheikh adding that the copies of statement, recorded under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal procedure, of the witness have been provided to the accused.

Dr Asim's counsel argued that the Rangers' counsel could not file a plea to summon the judicial magistrate.

The court reserved the verdict on the Rangers counsel's plea till June 13.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 19th, 2019.


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