The 15 suspects were arrested during the March 11 raid at the MQM headquarters
KARACHI: Fifteen workers of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, detained during the March 11 raid at the party’s headquarters, are likely to be indicted in the last week of October as the home department has given its approval to the trial court to carry on with the process.
The letter received by the ATC-VI on Thursday read that the [provincial] government accords permission for the trial to be conducted under the Explosive Substances Act. Though received very late, the letter removes a hurdle from the trial’s path, allowing it to move forward.
Five months after the submission of the final investigation report, the court could not frame charges on the suspects owing to incomplete documents. “One of those hindrances was the permission letter that was received on Thursday,” a court official told The Express Tribune.
Since the suspects, according to the police, were found to be in possession of unlicensed weapons and bombs when arrested, they have been booked under the Sindh Arms Act and the Explosives Substances Act.
Under the Explosives Substances Act, the court is restricted from conducting any trial of offences falling within the ambit of this law. Section 7 of the Act reads that no court shall proceed with the trial of any person for an offence falling within this Act, except with the consent of the provincial government.
The suspects include Faisal Mehmood alias Mota, who was awarded capital punishment in March 2014 after being convicted in absentia for the murder of Geo News’ reporter Wali Khan Babar, and Nadir Shah, accused of murdering policemen who took part in the 1992 operation against the party.
There are 31 cases pending before the ATC-VI against these suspects and on average, each of them faces around two cases. The next hearing is set for October 26 inside the central prison.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2015.