Naqeebullah murder case: Anwar’s lawyer casts doubt over eyewitness’ statement

Published: October 9, 2019
Pictured from left to right, former SSP Malir Rao Anwar and Naqeebullah Mehsud. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Pictured from left to right, former SSP Malir Rao Anwar and Naqeebullah Mehsud. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: In yet another twist in the Naqeebullah murder case, the counsel for former Malir SSP Rao Anwar claimed on Tuesday that a statement recorded before the court was fabricated. The counsel said that the eyewitness hadn’t recorded his statement before the inquiry committee headed by Sanaullah Abbasi.

The ATC No. 3 was hearing the Naqeebullah murder case at the Karachi Central Jail. Former Malir SSP Rao Anwar, DSP Qamar and other accused appeared before the court while the jail officials presented the arrested accused.

The petitioner’s counsel, Salahuddin Panhwar and an eyewitness also appeared before the court. Anwar’s counsel, Amir Mansoob, cross-questioned the statement given by eyewitness, Muhammad Qasim.

Addressing the witness, Mansoob said, “The statement you have given to the police is different from the statement you recorded before the court.” The witness maintained silence over the defence lawyer’s comment. Mansoob said that the witness had stated before the court that when the police officials were taking Naqeebullah and others with them, they said that they were taking them to Rao Anwar and that he would send them to heaven. “But the statement given to police doesn’t mention any such thing,” the lawyer observed.

He asked the eyewitness another question. “When did you find out that Naqeebullah’s real name is Naseebullah?” The witness replied, ‘I came to know on January 17 that his name is Naseebullah but we knew him by the name, Naqeebullah.’

The defence lawyer observed, “The incident took place on January 3 or 4 but he says that he got to know the real name on January 17.” Advocate Mansoob then asked, “Have you recorded your statement before the inquiry committee headed by Sanaullah Abbasi?”

The eyewitness, Qasim said, “No, I only recorded my statement before the police official at the police station.”

During the cross-questioning, the public prosecutor and the defence lawyer also got into a heated argument. The prosecutor told the defence counsel that he didn’t have the documents. At this, Anwar’s counsel said that as the government’s lawyer, he should have the documents. The court interjected at this point and told the prosecutor to say to the court whatever he wanted to say.

Anwar’s counsel continued with the cross-questioning and asked the eyewitness if he had lodged any complaint regarding the torture he was allegedly subjected to after being released. The witness replied that he hadn’t complained to anyone. The defence lawyer maintained that the statement given to the police didn’t mention any torture. “Why didn’t he or his family complain about the torture he suffered, if he was an eye-witness?” questioned the lawyer, adding that eyewitness’ statement was untrue.

The counsels of other accused also cross-questioned the witness and the process is likely to continue in the next hearing on October 10.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2019.

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