Arshad Sharif's murder trial can be held in Pakistan: IHC

High court disposes slain journalist's mother's petition after family receives post-mortem report


Our Correspondent November 16, 2022
Journalist Arshad Sharif. Photo: Facebook/ArshadSharif

ISLAMABAD:

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) observed on Wednesday that slain journalist Arshad Sharif’s murder trial can be held in Pakistan.

IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq's remarks came as he heard Sharif's mother's plea against the delay in providing his family the post-mortem report.

During today's hearing the court was informed by the deputy attorney general that the report has now been provided to the journalist's mother. Barrister Shoaib Razak appeared before the court on behalf of Sharif's mother and stated that the post-mortem report was provided to her on Sunday.

To the chief justice's question regarding the developments made in the case in Pakistan, the counsel replied that "nothing was happening here".

Barrister Razak told the court that their application seeking the formation of a judicial commission to investigate the murder was still pending, adding that an FIR could be filed in Pakistan as well.

On the point of the FIR, the court observed that even the trial can be held in Pakistan. Justice Farooq cited the murder trial of Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Imran Farooq as a reference.

Read PTI leaders summoned in journalist killing probe

Later, the IHC disposed of the post-mortem report petition.

Post-mortem report

In a tweet on November 14, the late journalist's wife, Javeria Siddique, stated that the family had "finally received the autopsy report of late @arsched from pims hospital", adding that the family now awaited the formation of a judicial commission by the Supreme Court to probe into her husband’s murder in Kenya.

However, the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad said that it did not hand over the report to Arshad's family, saying that it might've been provided by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

Last week, a private TV channel, citing Arshad's post-mortem reports, claimed that the senior journalist was brutally tortured for hours before being shot dead.

Murder case

Senior journalist Arshad Sharif, who fled the country after he was charged with sedition, died in Kenya's Nairobi after being shot, his wife confirmed. 

“I lost friend, husband and my favourite journalist today, as per police he was shot in Kenya,” Javeria Siddique, his spouse, tweeted.

The 49-year-old journalist fled the country in August to avoid arrest after he was slapped with multiple cases, including sedition charges over an interview with PTI leader Shahbaz Gill during which the latter had made controversial comments.

Alleging threats to his life, Arshad Sharif had moved to Dubai in August and later relocated to Kenya.

The untimely death of the journalist sent shock waves across rights organisations, the media fraternity and civil society and prompted calls for thorough investigation and disclosure of facts.

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