An anti-terrorism court (ATC) acquitted a man accused of kidnapping and murdering his nephew for ransom in 2011. The acquittal was ordered after some legal flaws were found in the investigation.
The court of judge Abdur Rauf Khan ordered the acquittal of Imran charged with kidnapping his nephew Usman, aged 10, for ransom on May 5, 2011. Imran allegedly murdered Usman after the ransom amount of about Rs90,000 was not paid to him.
According to a police report, Usman was kidnapped from Hashtnagri, within the jurisdiction of Kotwali police station. Later, the boy was killed and buried in Akhunabad graveyard. Police recovered the body and started investigation.
Arrested for another crime
Imran was arrested in Rawalpindi on different charges. Later, Peshawar police approached the police in Rawalpindi and requested them to hand over the accused in Usman’s case.
The anti-terrorism court found Imran guilty of kidnapping and murder and awarded him the death sentence in 2014.
However, Imran’s family approached the Peshawar High Court and filed an appeal. A division bench of Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Asadullah Khan Chamkani on February 17 remanded the case to the ATC with the direction to conduct retrial of the case.
On the day of the retrial, Muhammad Saeed Khan, counsel for the accused, informed the court there were technical faults in the award of the sentence and the case.
The counsel said if both parties know each other, then it is not a case of kidnapping for ransom; rather a simple case of kidnapping as per an order of the apex court delivered in 2013. The counsel for defence also argued the proof on record does not connect it with the murder of the boy.
The prosecution counsel produced the mobile phone of the accused and other proofs linking it with kidnapping for ransom and murder. He requested the court maintain the previously given death sentence.
However, after hearing arguments from both the sides the court ordered the acquittal of Imran.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2015.