Shakil Afridi case: Review petition filed for fresh trials, bail

Application requests the court to overturn ban on bail for the petitioner.


Noorwali Shah October 22, 2013
The doctors will not be allowed to meet anyone, including relatives. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR:


Alleged CIA collaborator Dr Shakil Afridi has filed a review petition demanding that a fresh trial be conducted to give him full opportunity to defend himself against the charge that he helped the Americans track down on al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in May 2011.


An application also filed with the petition requested the court to overturn the ban on bail for the petitioner.

The petition – submitted to the Fata Tribunal by Dr Afridi’s lawyers, including Advocates Abdul Latif Afridi, Samiullah Afridi and Qamar Nadeem – made the state a respondent. The tribunal is set to hand down its verdict on the petition on October 30.

The petition has been filed under section 55-A of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) against the order of a commissioner, who on August 29 overturned Afridi’s 33-years imprisonment sentence and Rs320, 000 fine and remanded the case back to the Political Agent (PA) for retrial.

“On the acceptance of the review petition, the order of the commissioner FCR dated August 29 may be modified to the extent that political agent be directed to conduct a fresh trial by making order of reference, constitute fresh jirga with the consent of the petitioner by giving right of cross examination to the petitioner and pass a fair, justifiable and well reason order” the petition says.

It says that under the law it is the right of each and every accused to defend himself through counsel, and cross-examine the witness. However, it contends that Afridi was given neither an opportunity of defence nor the right of cross examination as his case was remanded back to the PA.

The petition says the FCR commissioner ordered that Afridi would not be released on bail till the conclusion of the case. “This part of the order is against the law …. [and] needs to be declared illegal and of no legal effect, [as] under the law every accused has a right to apply for bail,” the petition reads.

In the petition, it has been argued that as the case has been remanded back to the PA to hear it as a sessions judge, he is bound by the law to make a fresh order of reference and refer the case to a new iirga with the consent of the petitioner.

The trial court must summon the jirga members as well as the witnesses in the presence of petitioner and then after codal formalities, the trial court must pass a reasonable order, the petition demands.

“The accused was arrested on May 23, 2011 and sentenced to 33-years in prison with a fine of Rs320,000  by the court of Assistant Political Agent Bara on May 23, 2012. He has been behind the bar for the last two years and the conclusion of trials would take sufficient time so this application be accepted and the accused be released on bail till the final decision of the case,” the bail application reads.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 22nd, 2013.

COMMENTS (3)

Aamir - Toronto | 9 years ago | Reply

@AliKuliKhan

Come on, give me a break.

He is not being victimized, the man betrayed his own country, ran a phony vaccination campaign to hunt OBL (if he was still around).

unbelievable | 9 years ago | Reply

Alleged CIA collaborator Dr Shakil Afridi has filed a review petition demanding that a fresh trial be conducted to give him full opportunity to defend himself against the charge that he helped the Americans track down on al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in May 2011.

Rubbish - he was charged/convicted of the ridiculous crime of assisting terrorist not helping the American's. His appeal against that conviction is based in part on Pakistan refusing to allow him an attorney.

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