UK prosecutors refuse to drop terror charges against MQM founder

Lawyers argue CPS has not heard the case properly, therefore, the court should order for withdrawal of all charges

News Desk March 21, 2020

Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on Friday refused to drop terrorism charges against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder during a hearing of the case in a London court, a private TV channel reported.

The legal team of the MQM supremo had appealed to Old Baily – the common name for the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales located on Old Bailey Street – for dismissal of charges against him related to incitement of terrorism in Pakistan.

During the hearing on Friday, Hussain’s legal team and some party leaders arrived in the court. The MQM founder did not appear in person, citing the coronavirus outbreak and his frail health as the reasons. The court granted him exemption from personal appearance.

On Friday, the MQM legal team and Rabita Committee members arrived at the Old Bailey for the hearing of the appeal. Hussain’s legal team had applied to the court for dismissal of charges stating that the CPS had not heard the case properly and therefore the court should order for the withdrawal of all charges.

The Counter Terrorism Division of the CPS has charged Hussain, 66, for incitement and encouraging terrorism through a speech by telephone in Karachi in August 2016. He was arrested during a dawn raid at his residence in London on June 11, 2019. Later, he was was released on bail.

His lawyers told the court that the CPS had not heard the case properly, therefore, the court should order for withdrawal of all charges. However, the CPS rejected the appeal for dropping the charges, the channel reported.

Hussain has been charged with intentionally encouraging or assisting offences, contrary to Section 44 of the Serious Crime Act 2007 in relation to his August 16, 2016 speech from London and the violence that followed in Karachi because of that speech, the police said.


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