Military court convict was indicted on three charges, army official tells IHC

Written reply says convict Muhammad Tahir was indicted on three charges over involvement in Bannu jailbreak 2012


Rizwan Shehzad September 18, 2015
CREATIVE: AAMIR KHAN

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Army on Friday informed the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that a military court convict, whose death sentence was suspended on September 17, was indicted on three charges including his alleged involvement in the 2012 Bannu jailbreak.

Convict Muhammad Tahir was indicted on three charges under the Pakistan Army Amendment Act 2015, a written reply submitted by an army colonel of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces in the court said.

Read: IHC stays death ruling passed by military court

Subsequently, the court disposed of the petition seeking records on the whereabouts of the convict who had been awarded death sentence by the military court in Bannu jailbreak case.

The whereabouts of the convict have been revealed thus making the petition infructuous, Acting Chief Justice of IHC, Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi said in his remarks while disposing of the petition.

On Thursday, the court had suspended the execution of Tahir’s sentence, linking the stay with the submission of the report. The army official through his standing counsel, Raja Khalid Mahmood, submitted the reply in the court.

First charge was preferred as the convict, along with his accomplices, attacked on a Frontier Corps’ check-post with heavy weapons, including rocket launchers, light machine guns and Kalashnikovs, the statement said, adding the attack had resulted in the killing of one soldier while another was injured.

For the second charge, the statement claimed that the convict along with his accomplices attacked on Bannu Jail with heavy weapons, including rocket launchers and light machine guns, saying 381 prisoners managed to escape from the jail due to the attack.

The statement further revealed that the third charge was related to an incident wherein the convict and his accomplices attacked on a FC check-post in Bannu and escaped afterwards.

It further added that due to the above mentioned charges, Muhammad Tahir was tried by a military court, established in K-P, and awarded death sentence which was also confirmed by Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif on September 02. Later the convict was handed over to the authorities of a District Jail in Kohat on September 08.

Read: Sharing documents: SC rejects plea for access to military court proceedings

Meanwhile, the army official also informed the court that the convict, through the jail superintendent, had also filed an appeal before the Army Court of Appeals, which was still pending and likely to be heard soon.

Military authorities have no control over the convict who is being dealt as per the jail manual in the Kohat district jail, he clarified.

Tahir’s father Mir Shah had approached the IHC claiming his son was at his fruit and vegetable stall on February 24, 2014 when he was kidnapped by unidentified men, while on September 3 the petitioner heard that Tahir had been sentenced to death by a military court.

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