KARACHI: The Federal Investigation Agency submitted on Tuesday an interim charge sheet before a court against Muttahida Qaumi Movement founder Altaf Hussain in a case pertaining to terror financing and money laundering.

However, the MQM founder was named as the only accused/absconder in the investigation report and the report was silent on the status of his alleged accomplices nominated as co-suspects in the FIR registered on the complaint of UK-based businessman Sarfaraz Merchant in September at the FIA State Bank Circle.

The investigating officer, Mohammed Ali Abro, submitted the interim investigation report before the administrative judge of antiterrorism courts and placed five prosecution witnesses in the report, but did not mention the residential addresses of Mr Hussain, which is otherwise a mandatory requirement so the trial court could issue notice or warrant for the suspect.

The FIA had also named Karachi Deputy Mayor Arshad Vohra, Senator Babar Ghauri, Khawaja Sohail Mansoor, Khawaja Rehan and Senator Ahmed Ali as co-suspects in the FIR claiming that the funds from the bank accounts of Khidmat-i-Khalq Foundation (KKF), a charity wing of the party, were also illegally transferred in the accounts of these persons.

However, their fate hangs in balance as the IO neither charge-sheeted them as suspects, nor left them out for want of evidence in the interim investigation report.

The administrative judge of ATCs, Karachi, sent the case to the ATC-II for hearing.

According to the interim investigation report, the KKF was allegedly used as a source of illegal money transfer to Mr Hussain in London to finance terrorism and further alleged that the MQM founder also received Indian funding for financing terrorism in Karachi.

It further maintained that huge cash withdrawals were made from the bank accounts of the KKF, which were also being misused for purchase of weapons, cash smuggling to UK for Mr Hussain, terrorism activities in Pakistan and funding for election period, etc.

It alleged that Mr Hussain committed money laundering and acted against the integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan, creating chaos and terrorism for its disintegration.

The case was registered under Sections 121 (waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against Pakistan), 122 (collecting arms, etc, with intention of waging war against Pakistan), 123-A (condemnation of the creation of the state, and advocacy of abolition of its sovereignty), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document), 477-A (fraudulent cancellation, destruction, etc, of will, authority to adopt, or valuable security), and 109 (abetment) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Sections 3 and 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2010 as well as Sections 11-H (fundraising for terrorism), 11-I (use and possession of money or property for purposes of terrorism) and 11 (J) (funding arrangements) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

Murderer sentenced to death

A sessions court sentenced on Tuesday a man to death in an over two-decade-old murder case.

Mohammed Sabir and his absconding accomplice Zahoor Ahmed had been booked for killing a 15-year-old girl in January 1996 in Bhittaiabad, a residential colony near the airport, after abducting her in Bahawalpur in November 1995.

The court found Sabir guilty of the offence of abetting and assisting the main accused in the murder of the girl and ruled that since there was no mitigating circumstances and the murder of the girl had been committed in a brutal manner and she was buried at the place of the crime with intention to hide the evidence of an offence, the accused did not deserve any leniency.

Additional district and sessions judge (Malir) Shafi Mohammed Pirzada also convicted the accused for a term of three years for disappearing/screening out the evidence of the offence.

According to the prosecution, police had arrested Zahoor and also recovered the body on a lead provided by him. He was indicted in 1999 while Sabir was declared a proclaimed offender. Later, Zahoor absconded after obtaining bail.

The police arrested the present accused a few years ago and he was produced before the court in custody on Tuesday.

Published in Dawn, November 1st, 2017

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