An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Tuesday absolved a Pakistan Muslim League-N legislator from Islamabad of charges of fleeing from police custody for want of evidence.
Judge Chaudhry Habibur Rehman accepted the acquittal plea of MNA Anjum Aqeel Khan and 17 others who were charged with aiding in his escape from the custody of the Shalimar Police almost a year ago. The judge observed that the prosecutor failed to produce enough evidence against the accused.
Filed through Advocate Tanveer Iqbal Khan in May this year, the MNA contended that the prosecution had presented 10 witnesses who failed to establish any evidence against him.
He was arrested on July 15 last year in a land fraud case. When he was being brought to the Shalimar police station, the MNA escaped from police custody. An armed mob wrested him from police custody and fled. He was arrested next day but the MNA claimed he himself surrendered.
In their investigation report, the Shalimar police said there was no evidence against the MNA suggesting that he orchestrated the encounter to escape from custody.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Advocate Khan said there was “no chance” of conviction of his client and 40 others in the case registered on July 15 last year.
He said the investigators and their witnesses had deposed before the court that the MNA willingly surrendered to the police before unknown men kidnapped him and whisked him away. After the incident, the MNA surrendered willingly for a second time, the lawyer said.
The Islamabad police had already withdrawn charges against all but 18 accused including the MNA.
The MNA termed the court verdict as “a victory of truth and justice”, while claiming his acquittal was “proof that the PPP-led government victimised N-leaguers”. He said PML-N believes in independence of judiciary and gives due respect to courts.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2012.