KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) granted on Tuesday protective bail before arrest to Nawab Ali Jatoi and Muhammad Khurrum, who have been accused of helping Shahrukh Jatoi escape from the country using fake travel documents.
Both Nawab Jatoi, Shahrukh Jatoi’s brother, and Muhammad Khurram, a director of Sikander Ali Jatoi’s group of companies, have been granted bail for ten days against a surety of Rs0.5 million. They are currently in Dubai and will have to appear before the trial court after they arrive in Pakistan.
Two days after Shahzeb Khan’s murder on December 24 last year, the prime suspect, Shahrukh Jatoi, had escaped from the country, allegedly aided by his elder brother, Nawab Ali Jatoi, officers of the national flag carrier and a private travel consultancy firm.
The Federal Investigation Agency’s anti-human trafficking police had lodged case 29/2013 under Sections 419 and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code, read with Sections 3, 4 and 6(1) of the Passport Act 1974.
Investigators alleged that Shahrukh Jatoi, assisted by Mehmood Sultan, Wasi Akhtar, Muhammad Khurrum, Nawab Ali Jatoi, Muhammad Taha Hussain of the Gerry’s Danata and Syed Salman Shah, the supervisor at the Gerry’s Danata had fraudulently acquired boarding passes in the name of ‘Syed Shahrukh’. They had done this using passport number Al-4101012 issued in the name of Muhammad Ali instead of Shahrukh’s own passport. Shahrukh had then travelled on the Emirates Airlines EK-605 flight that departed from Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport at 5:40pm on December 27.
The prosecution said that Shahrukh had travelled with Nawab Ali Jatoi, and Muhammad Khurrum. PIA officials Mehmood Sultan and Wasi Akhtar, posing as protocol officials of Bilalwal House, had gained immigration clearance of Ali Jatoi and Muhammad Khurrum. They did this by presenting their passports at the immigration counters, showing them as guests of the Bilawal House.
The accused, Mehmood Sultan, Wasi Akhtar, Ali Jatoi and Muhammad Khurrum, deliberately and intentionally attempted to hide the identity of Shahrukh Jatoi who did not obtain his immigration clearance and passed through the gate meant for staff only under the cover of protocol, added the prosecution.
On Tuesday, Nawab Ali Jatoi and Muhammad Khurrum applied for transitory protective bail through their lawyer, Shauakt Hayat, who told the judge that the two were implicated in the case in bad faith.
The lawyer said that his clients were willing to come back to the country to surrender before the court and face trial but feared that they might be arrested by the FIA and immigration staff at the Karachi airport.
He pleaded to the court to grant protective bail to his clients so that they could arrive in the country and surrender before the court without being arrested. Shahrukh Jatoi, Sohail Ahmed and Muhammad Taha Hussain who have been arrested and sent to jail in the FIA case will be produced before the court today.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2013.
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