KARACHI: The administrative judge of the antiterrorism courts remanded on Tuesday Muttahida Qaumi Movement mayoral candidate for Karachi Waseem Akhtar in prison in around 10 cases.
Mr Akhtar with three other politicians — Rauf Siddiqui of the MQM, Anis Kaimkhani of the Pak Sarzameen Party and Qadir Patel of the PPP — landed in prison on July 19 after an ATC dismissed their interim bails in a case related to abetting the treatment of alleged terrorists and gangsters at the hospitals of former federal minister Dr Asim Hussain, the main suspect in the case.
After taking him in custody from the prison, police produced the MQM leader before the administrative judge on July 21 and obtained his five-day physical remand for questioning in two other cases lodged at the Sachal and Malir City police stations earlier this year for listening to speeches of Altaf Hussain, the self-exiled leader of his party.
After the end of his physical remand, police reproduced Mr Akhtar before the court and submitted that he was also formally arrested with Aslam, alias Kala, in seven more cases pertaining to rioting lodged at different police stations of Malir during the May 12, 2007 mayhem.
They further informed the court that the MQM leader was shown arrested in another case registered at the Brigade police station for listening to a speech of his party chief.
The investigating officers sought extension in Mr Akhtar’s physical remand for questioning in the new cases. However, defence lawyer Khawaja Naveed opposed the extension in police custody and argued that his client was not present during the speech of his party chief as it was delivered at an event meant for women only.
The ATCs administrative judge sent the MQM leader and other suspects to prison on 14-day judicial remand and directed the investigating officers to submit investigation reports by Aug 9. However, the court ruled that the police could interrogate the suspects on the premises of the central prison if necessary.
The counsel moved bail applications in three cases and an application seeking better facilities for the MQM leader in prison and the administrative judge sent the applications to ATC- I and II for hearing.
Meanwhile, Rauf Siddiqui through his lawyer withdrew a bail application from the Sindh High Court and moved the same plea before the trial court (ATC-II) in a case related to the treatment of alleged terrorists at Dr Asim’s hospitals.
The court will take up the application for hearing on Wednesday while a similar application of Anis Kaimkhani is also fixed for arguments before the same court on the same day.
They with the MQM’s London-based leader Saleem Shahzad and Usman Moazzam of Pasban have been booked for allegedly asking Dr Asim, the main suspect in the case, to provide treatment and shelter to the suspected terrorists, militants and gangsters at the North Nazimabad and Clifton branches of his hospital.
Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2016