ISLAMABAD: The Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) granted on Wednesday the relief of remission in sentence to a court martial convict, retired brigadier Ali Khan.

Remission is granted to convicts in the form of reduction of sentence on different occasions, including Eids and national days, while they are held in custody during the course of investigation and trial.

According to retd Brig Wasaf Khan Niazi, a former judge advocate general of the army, Ali Khan had been kept in detention for over one year before he was convicted of being linked to the banned organisation, Hizbut Tahrir (HuT), and sentenced to five- year rigorous imprisonment.

The LHC order will provide some relief to the convict as the jail authorities will calculate the duration of total remission and deduct it from the period of imprisonment.

Last week, the LHC had reserved its verdict on Ali Khan’s petition for his entitlement to remission in the sentence.

The proceedings of court martial of Brig Ali and accomplices -- Major Inayat Aziz, Major Iftikhar, Major Sohail Akbar and Major Jawad Baseer -- were completed in August 2012. All the four were convicted of having links with HuT.

Brig Ali was detained a few days after US Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad on May 2, 2011.

Brig Ali was also accused of being involved in a conspiracy to topple the government, trying to instigate mutiny in the army and planning an attack on the GHQ.

The court martial proceedings began in December 2011.

He was charged with conspiring with his four accomplices and a British member of the HuT to recruit officers, including the commander of 111 Brigade, which covers the capital, to their radical group.

During the seven-month proceedings, five military officers recorded their testimonies from the prosecutor’s side. They claimed that Ali Khan had tried to persuade them to launch a mutiny against the civilian leadership.

Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2016

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