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PESHAWAR: An anti-terrorism court here has referred the case of a female suspected facilitator, who was arrested over the last year militant attack on the Pakistan Air Force camp in Badabher, to the special court under the Protection of Pakistan Act (PPA).

The court issued the order after a special prosecutor informed it that the district prosecutor had given his opinion that the instant case pertained to the schedule offences mentioned in the Protection of Pakistan Act, 2014, and not to the anti-terrorism court keeping in view the severity of the offence.

The suspected woman, Zari Zadgai, had filed a bail petition before the anti-terrorism court stating that she was innocent and was falsely implicated in the case.

Over a dozen militants had attacked the PAF Camp at Badabher on Sept 18, 2015, which had resulted into deaths of 29 persons including an Army captain, whereas 13 militants were also killed.

The terrorists had entered the residential compound at the camp and were dressed in official uniform of Frontier Constabulary. The terrorists had killed 16 persons inside a mosque at the camp.

In Mar this year the counter terrorism department had claimed arresting the petitioner and had stated that she was facilitator of the attackers. The CTD had claimed that Ms Zari Zadgai alias Parveen was arrested from Telaband village on a tip-off from an intelligence agency.

The CTD alleged that during initial investigation the suspect revealed that she had provided the terrorists food and water. She had also allegedly provided them empty bottles that were later used in preparation of hand-grenades and fire bombs in the attack.

The special prosecutor informed the court that they had referred the matter to the district public prosecutor for seeking his legal opinion on the issue. He added that the DPP had suggested that the special court set up under the PPA was empowered to hear such like cases.

Meanwhile, the court acquitted an accused person charged with demanding extortion from a local trader by posing himself as a member of a proscribed organisation.

The judge ruled that the prosecution could not prove its case against the accused, Misbaullah, a resident of Larama area in Peshawar.

The prosecution had alleged that the accused, who is around 20, was making threatening phone calls to a trader, Fazal Sher, and was asking him to pay him millions of rupees as ransom otherwise he would face dire consequences. The prosecution claimed that later on the local police traced the said phone calls and the accused was arrested in that connection.

The accused was charged under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act and Section 365-A of Pakistan Penal Code.

The defence counsel argued that the accused was falsely implicated in the case and there was no evidence against him.

He added that the accused was arrested merely on basis of suspicion whereas no solid evidence could be gathered against him.

The counsel added that the prosecution witnesses had recorded conflicting statements, which proved the innocence of the accused.

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2016