3 ex-army officers, civilian convicted of espionage

FGCM awards them up to 14-year rigorous imprisonment


Our Correspondent December 04, 2021

KARACHI:

The Field General Court Martial (FGCM) has convicted three retired military officers as well as a civilian on charges of espionage, handing them different jail terms, according to sources privy to the process.

The four were tried under the Pakistan Army Act and Official Secret Act 1923 by separate FGCM on charges of espionage prejudice to national security, the sources said.

The convicts include Lt Col (retd) Faiz Rasool, who was awarded 14-year rigorous imprisonment; Lt Col (retd) Akmal was sentenced to 10-year rigorous imprisonment; Major (retd) Saif Ullah Babar was handed 12-year rigorous imprisonment; and Idris Khattak 14-year rigorous imprisonment.

The sources said Khattak, who claims to be a social activist, was tried by the FGCM in Jhelum, while the retired military officers stood trial in Rawalpindi. The main charge Khattak faced was that he provided ground intelligence for US drone strikes in Pakistan.

Read Pakistan Army dismisses three officers for misuse of authority, illegal activities

According to BBC, Owais Khattak, brother or Idris, said they received a phone call from Jhelum on Friday in which he was informed that his brother had been shifted to district jail in Jhelum.

Asked if a civilian could stand trial in a military court, the sources said a civilian could be tried in the FGCM under “specific circumstances”.

Earlier in February, a two-judge bench of the Peshawar High Court – headed by Chief Justice Qaiser Rasheed – had dismissed a plea against Khattak’s trial in a military court. The petition was filed by Khattak’s brother.

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