KARACHI: A district and sessions court granted on Tuesday an interim pre-arrest bail to Muhammad Khurram, who has been accused of helping convict Shahrukh Jatoi escape the country.
The court also issued notices to the district public prosecutor and the investigating officer to appear before the court with the police file of the case at the next hearing.
Two days after 20-year-old Shahzeb Khan’s murder on December 24 last year, Shahrukh Jatoi had flown to Dubai, allegedly with the help of his older brother, Nawab Ali Jatoi, and Muhammad Khurram, who was a director for one of the companies run by Sikander Jatoi. A case no. 26/13, under sections 419 and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), read with sections 3/4 and 6(1) of Passport Act, 1974, was lodged against Shahrukh and other suspects at the Federal Investigative Agencies’s (FIA) Anti-Human Trafficking Circles.
On June 18, the Sindh High Court had granted transitory protective bail to Nawab Ali and Khurram for 10 days with directions to appear before the trial court after they arrived in Pakistan.
On Tuesday, the counsel for the suspect, Shaukat Hayat, appeared before district and sessions judge, Malir, Sadaf Asif, for an interim pre-arrest bail, which was granted against a surety of Rs100,000. The judge also directed Khurram to appear before the court for confirmation or otherwise on July 3.
Hayat said that Khurram and Nawab Jatoi were also implicated in Shahzeb’s murder case on charges of helping Shahrukh. The FIA showed them as absconders in the final charge sheet but failed to produce any evidence against them, said Hayat. “One can’t prove a case by just adding several sections of the law. One needs to provide evidence in court.” The suspect’s counsel said that the Khurram travelled to Dubai at his own schedule with a legal passport and valid travel documents, adding that there was no question of foul-play. “Neither his name is mentioned in the FIR nor in the charge sheet.”
Meanwhile, the investigating officer had told the court in the final charge sheet that two PIA officials, Mahmood Sultan, a baggage attendant, and a passenger services assistant Wasi Akhtar, performing their duties as ‘protocol officials’ to Bilawal House along with Nawab Ali Jatoi and Muhammad Khurram deliberately hid the fact that Shahrukh was travelling by obtaining his immigration clearance. They passed him through the gate meant only for staff members, the officer had said.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2013.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ