Two eyewitnesses testified before the district and sessions court on Friday that Shahrukh Jatoi and Siraj Talpur accompanied by Sajjad Talpur and their servant, Murtaza Lashari, opened fire on Shahzeb Khan on the night of his murder between December 24 and 25.
The witnesses recorded their statements under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Waqar Ahmed Soomro, a judicial magistrate in district south, recorded their statements in the presence of the accused.
Nominating the four men --Shahrukh Jatoi, Siraj Talpur, Sajjad Talpur and Murtaza Lashari --as the alleged accused in the killing, the prosecution’s witnesses described their roles in the murder and identified three of them in court. The fourth suspect, Shahrukh Jatoi, has evaded arrest thus far.
Sikandar Jatoi remanded to police custody
Sikandar Jatoi, the father of Shahrukh Jatoi, has been remanded in custody of police till January 16. On Monday, Anti-Terrorism Court-III judge Ghulam Mustafa Memon granted physical remand of 80-year-old Sikandar Jatoi.
Sikandar is accused of helping his son evade arrest after the latter allegedly shot and killed Shahzeb.
On Friday, the police produced Sikandar Jatoi in an anti-terrorism court. He was arrested a day earlier outside the Supreme Court building in Islamabad after a perpetual non-bailable warrant was issued for his arrest. He was brought to the court in an armoured personnel carrier escorted by a police van.
Inside the courtroom, sub-inspector Waseem Ahmed of Boat Basin police station submitted that the accused, Sikandar Jatoi, was booked in the case under abetment charges.
“Accused (Sikandar) is to be interrogated in respect of vehicles and weapons used in commissioning the murder. He has also facilitated the prime suspect, Shahrukh Jatoi, to hide in a safe place,” the investigating officer told the judge.
He requested for physical custody of the accused to complete their investigation. The judge has allowed physical custody of the accused till January 16.
Medical treatment, meetings
The judge also directed the investigating officer to provide proper medical treatment as per procedures to Sikandar Jatoi.
Earlier, Shaukat Hayat, the lawyer for accused, had requested that his client was a diabetic and heart patient. He pleaded to the judge that his client be provided proper medical treatment and hospitalization while in the custody of the police.
The judge also allowed another application seeking permission for Sikandar Jatoi to meet the co-accused Siraj Talpur, his brother Sajjad Talpur and their cook Murtaza Lashari.
The lawyer argued that Sikandar Jatoi had to discuss some legal matters with his co-accused.
Meanwhile, police on Friday denied allegations of harassing family members of Shahrukh Jatoi, or sealing off their properties.
Shahzad’s bungalow in the Defence- area of Karachi was raided and sealed off by police who were seeking custody of Shahrukh Jatoi, alleged GN Qureshi, the lawyer representing the petitioner. “Police are misinterpreting the apex court’s orders which clearly stated that action should be taken [against the accused] in accordance with the law.”
Meanwhile, at the request of the Pakistan government, the United Arab Emirates has constituted a special team to arrest Jatoi , who is allegedly in Dubai and enlisted his name on the immigration watch list. (with additional input from Adil Jawad)
Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2013.
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