Journalist’s murder: Police arrest childhood friend

Say the suspect confessed to the crime.

Express December 09, 2011

LAHORE: Police claimed on Friday to have arrested a man for the murder of Faisal Qureshi, a web journalist.

The 28-year-old who worked for The London Post, a London-based news website was found murdered in his Johar Town residence on October 7.

A press release sent by CIA (Organised Crime Cell) said that police have arrested the victim’s childhood friend, Faisal Hameed Qureshi. According to the statement, the suspect had confessed to killing his friend for money.

The FIR registered with the Johar Town police by the victim’s brother Zahid Ahmad Qureshi, who lives in England, had termed the murder “target killing”. He had said that his brother had been receiving threats after The London Post published an article suggesting Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain might flee to South Africa.

The suspect, the police say, told them that he had borrowed a motorcycle from another friend, Ishtiaq Ahmed, to visit a relative at Jinnah Hospital.

The bike was stolen from the car parking, the suspect told the police. Ahmed then demanded that the suspect pay him Rs50,000. The suspect, the police say, paid Rs20,000 to Ahmed and when he fell short, planned to kill the victim.

“I knew he lived alone and that he was from a well to do family,” the suspect is said to have told the police according to the press release.

Police say that the suspect told them that he purchased a knife from Taxali Gate a day before the incident and killed the victim, after which he changed his clothes and disposed of the blood stained clothes and the weapon in the canal near Doctors’ Hospital.

According to the police, the suspect also confessed to stealing the victim’s laptop, wallet and two mobile phones which they say he sold and paid Ahmed another Rs15,000.

Iftikhar Rasool Bajwa, an inspector with the Anti-terrorist Squad toldThe Express Tribune that the suspect had also admitted to withdrawing Rs20,000 using the victim’s ATM card. He said that the suspect had told them that the victim had told him the card’s pin code before he killed him.

The press release said that the police had recovered the victim’s laptop as well as the two mobile phones.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2011.

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