ISLAMABAD: Poland has opened a trial in absentia of Taliban members for brutally murdering a Polish engineer in the tribal regions on February 7, 2009, official sources told The Express Tribune.
Piotr Stanczak was kidnapped from an oil and gas field in Attock district on September, 28, 2008. He was beheaded after four months of captivity, when authorities rejected the militants’ demand for ransom and release of six terrorists.
The trial in absentia is in progress in a Polish court against former MNA Shah Abdul Aziz, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) activist Attaullah Khan Attaullah and their accomplices, who are also facing a similar trail in a Pakistani court.
While informing Islamabad of the trial, Warsaw has sought records of the investigation and documentary evidence of the case collected by Pakistani police.
A top law officer from Poland visited Islamabad last year to collect the record of the investigation. Pakistan had not been able to provide the record due to the absence of a legal framework for the exchange of such documentary evidence between the two countries.
On Poland’s insistence, Islamabad had agreed to sign a treaty with Warsaw to provide the required documents but a move by the law division could not be materialised due to red-tapism in the ministry of interior.
However, Poland is vigorously pursuing Pakistan for an early signing of the treaty to obtain the required record.
Kidnapping and killing
In 2008, the captors released a seven-minute video
showing the beheading of Stanczak in Dara Adam Khel, a semi-tribal region near Peshawar, two days after the brutal murder.
The Taliban had also announced that they would not return the body of the geologist, who was associated with the Poland National Seismic Survey Company, Geofizvka Karkow, which had been searching for oil and gas in Attock.
Prior to the kidnapping, the Taliban had killed a paramilitary force guard who
had been provided to the engineer by the local authorities for security. Stanczak’s guard, driver and assistant were also killed by the Taliban.
Arrests and trial
A few months later, the police arrested TTP activist Attaullah in Islamabad
in connection with the kidnapping and killing of Stanczak.
On Attaullah’s tip, the police also arrested former MNA Shah Abdul Aziz of the Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam (Samiul Haq faction) from Karak for his alleged involvement in the murder. The TTP activist had named Shah as the mastermind of the kidnapping and killing.
However, an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi absolved Aziz and Attaullah of all charges, due to lack of evidence.
The government had, on the other hand, filed a petition in the high court, challenging the judgment of the ATC, and said that the trial court had ignored some important facts of the case and did not take into account the confessional statement of the accused, Attaullah.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2012.
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