ISLAMABAD: Britain has agreed to provide evidence to the Pakistani authorities pertaining to the murder of Mutahhida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Dr Imran Farooq, accepting the mutual legal assistance (MLA) request from Islamabad.
According to the United Kingdom Central Authority (UKCA), the decision to hand over the evidence had been taken after assurances from Islamabad that the accused being tried in Pakistan would not be awarded death penalty if found guilty.
During a hearing in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Additional Attorney General Sajid Illyas Bhatti presented a letter from the UKCA and informed the court that Britain had agreed to provide evidence against accused Khalid Shamim, Mohsin Ali and Moazzam Ali.
A division bench, comprising Chief Justice Athar Minullah and Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb, while hearing an appeal of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) set aside an order of the anti-terrorism court for not granting additional time for gathering evidence from Britain.
The bench ordered the court to complete the trial within two months. Deputy Attorney General Arshad Mehmood Kiyani and a representative of British High Commission in Pakistan were also present at the IHC hearing.
The UKCA letter showed that Pakistani authorities would use the evidences only against suspects Khalid Shamim, Mohsin Ali and Moazzam Ali. Pakistan had assured UK that it would distance itself away from death penalty in its correspondence on June 26, 2019, the letter stated.
As per the understanding all three suspects will be kept in custody with due regard for international human rights. As per sources, UK Central Authority has forwarded a copy of the letter to its metropolitan police in London.
Dr Imran Farooq, a senior leader of the MQM was murdered on September 16, 2010, while returning to his home in London. According to the Metropolitan Police he had suffered multiple stab wounds and head injuries.
The three suspects are being tried in Pakistan for the murder. Khalid and Mohsin had recorded their confessional statements about killing Farooq but later they backtracked on their statement. Moazzam Ali has not yet recorded his statement in the case.