The party hopes the authorities conclude the case at the earliest, Sattar said
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has been granted bail for the fifth time since Scotland Yard began investigations into money laundering charges against him.
Accompanied by his lawyer and party leaders, including Dr Farooq Sattar and Mohammad Anwar, Altaf was brought to a South London police station Monday morning.
After being grilled for a few hours by the London Metropolitan Police, the self-exiled MQM supremo was granted a four-month bail, which will end in February 2016.
After hearing the news of his bail extension, party workers sent out congratulatory messages to one another on social media.
While talking to The Express Tribune from London, Sattar said bail extensions were a normal practice in the British judicial system. He maintained the party had nothing to do with money laundering.
“We categorically deny involvement in money laundering and hope that justice will prevail,” he added.
The party hopes the authorities conclude the case at the earliest, Sattar said.
The MQM is being investigated by the London police for undocumented cash found at the party’s office in December 2012. In June 2013, the Scotland Yard also seized a huge amount of cash from Altaf’s residence and office. The party insists the money seized was all donations, mostly from businessmen.
According to the BBC, the Scotland Yard found a sum of about 500,000 British pounds from the MQM’s London offices and from Altaf’s house. The British authorities also found weapons from an MQM property during the investigation. The BBC has also reported the party has been receiving funds from India’s premier intelligence agency – RAW (Research and Analysis Wing).
In June 2014, Altaf was arrested, kept in police custody at a hospital, and then later released. Since then, he has been sent on bail four times, Monday’s extension being the fifth one. His bank accounts in London have been frozen and his passport is said to be with the British authorities.
Two more MQM leaders in London are currently out on bail. Mohammad Anwar’s bail period ends on October 7 and Tariq Mir’s on October 6. Both of them are also under investigation over charges of money laundering.
In an official statement, the MQM confirmed that Altaf’s bail had been extended till February on the same terms the previous bails were extended.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2015.