KARACHI: Raheem Swati, the prime accused in the murder case of renowned social worker Perween Rahman, was on Wednesday acquitted by an antiterrorism court in three connecting cases that pertained to possession of illegal weapons and explosive materials and shoot-out with a police party.

The ATC exonerated the accused from charges in three cases as the prosecution failed to bring on record any incriminating evidence against him.

Meanwhile, the ATC put off the hearing of the murder case against Swati after his counsel produced a memory card of the mobile that contained a video of accused Swati.

The counsel claimed that the video was proof that his client was not even present at the scene of the crime.

According to police, Raheem Swati was arrested on May 7 last year after a shoot-out in the Sultanabad area of Manghopir. The police claimed to have found illicit weapons and explosives in his possession.

The police also claimed that Raheem was the prime suspect in Perween Rahman murder case. Later, his remand was obtained in attempted murder, unlicensed weapons and explosive material cases.

Perween Rahman, director of the Orangi Pilot Project, was gunned down on Manghopir Road in March 2013.

The case is pending trial before an ATC against detained suspects Ahmed Khan, alias Ahmed Ali, alias Pappu Kashmiri and Mohammad Imran Swati while Raheem

Swati, Ayaz Swati, Amjad Afridi and Shaldar Khan were shown absconders in the last charge-sheet filed in October, 2015.

The charge sheet said that during questioning detained suspect Imran disclosed that Raheem of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, with his brother-in-law Shaldar and others, carried out the killing.

It contended that Imran also claimed that he was associated with the Awami National Party in 2010 and was part of the meeting in which the murder was planned.

Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2017

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