KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court on Saturday issued for the third time the death warrant for convicted target killer Saulat Ali Khan aka Saulat Mirza, after a month-long stay on his execution expired on April 30.
Mirza was handed down capital punishment for killing the former managing director of the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation, Shahid Hamid, his driver, Ashraf Brohi, and guard, Khan Akbar, in Defence Housing Authority in 1997.
According to the fresh black warrants, Mirza will be hanged in Balochistan’s historic Mach jail on May 12. Mirza has dodged death twice in recent months. The first order of his execution on March 19 was deferred hours before his hanging after a TV channel aired his confessional video.
In his televised statement, Mirza had levelled serious allegations against the top leadership of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and claimed that he killed Zahid Hamid on the orders of the MQM chief Altaf Hussain, received through a former senator, Babar Ghauri.
At first, his hanging was halted for 72 hours and the interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, told on the floor of the parliament that the execution was postponed on ‘health grounds.’
However, President Mamnoon Hussain later put a month stay on Mirza’s hanging and a joint investigation team was formed to interrogate the condemned prisoner.
It was speculated that the authorities were preparing to reopen the triple murder case but till now the trial court has not been addressed such direction.
Mirza’s plea in SHC
The Sindh High Court (SHC) has not passed any order on Mirza’s plea to defer his execution Sources told The Express Tribune that the application is placed before the SHC Chief Justice Faisal Arab, who is likely to take a decision on it on Monday.
Mirza filed his second application on Thursday after the SHC’s member inspection team (MIT) returned his earlier plea seeking direction for the Sindh authorities to defer his execution till completion of fresh probe into the murder against the accused he had nominated in his video statement.
The application said authorities might be directed to record his statement by the judicial magistrate to give legal weight to his allegations and the charge-sheet could be prepared and presented before the concerned trial court.
On Thursday, the court’s MIT had returned three of Mirza’s applications – including those seeking deferment in his execution and protection of his wife, who is allegedly receiving life threats from South Africa.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2015.