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Three terrorism cases to be withdrawn from military courts

Updated August 27, 2015

LAHORE: Three terrorism cases, including that of the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team, are reportedly being withdrawn from military courts due to insufficient evidence and technical reasons, Dawn learnt on Wednesday.

The Punjab government had sent seven terrorism cases to military courts for trial.

Officials said the cases were found unfit for trial by these courts, asking the Punjab government to transfer them to anti-terrorism courts.

The request was discussed and accepted by the provincial Apex Committee headed by the chief minister. As a result, the provincial home department wrote to the Interior Ministry to withdraw the cases from military courts.

Officials said Dr Usman, who was one of the principal accused in the Sri Lankan team attack on May 3, 2009 in Lahore, had been executed. Another main accused Malik Ishaq who was on bail was killed along with 13 others in Muzaffargarh last month. Of the remaining nine accused, five were on bail and the remaining three in jail.

The provincial government had agreed to a request of the military courts to withdraw the case on the grounds that ordinary courts could not cancel bail of the five accused. And that the military courts were unable to deal with their cases.

The second case was the Jan 17, 2014 bomb blast on the track of Kushhal Khan Khattak Express and the accused belonged to Balochistan Liberation Army, officials said.

They said the third case was the Jan 15, 2012 attack on a Muharram procession and was being withdrawn on the grounds that one of the accused was a juvenile and military courts might not be able to deal with him adequately.

Another reason was that the evidence against him and others was based on confessions corroborated by police officials.

Published in Dawn, August 27th, 2015

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