KARACHI, June 23: Prosecution in the murder case of six employees of the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Organisation (SUPARCO) against a worker of the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi concluded evidence on Thursday. Judge Feroze Mehmood Bhatti of the ATC-2, who is conducting the trial inside Central Prison fixed June 28 for recording the statement of the accused after the prosecution examined its last witness, the investigation officer.

Six employees of the Suparco were killed and several others injured when their official van was fired upon on Oct 3, 2003, on Hub River Road in Mauripur police limits.

Shahnawaz alias Shani, being represented by M. R. Syed, has been charged with the killing.

The defence counsel also cross-examined PW Inspector Mohammed Yousuf. The state is being represented by Iqtidar Ali Hashmi and Maula Bux Bhatti.

The prosecution has examined in all 26 prosecution witnesses in the case.

RANSOM CASE: An anti-terrorism court put off hearing of a kidnapping for ransom case after recording the statements last prosecution witness and the accused.

Judge Arshad Noor Khan of the ATC-3 fixed Saturday for hearing the final arguments after the statements of investigation officer Inspector Chaudhry Manzoor and accused Mushtaq Jatoi.

The accused Mushtq Jatoi, owner of a hotel in Larkana, is being tried for the kidnapping of Dr Abdul Ghafoor Bhutto, director of a marketing company, who was released after payment of Rs2.9 million.

According to prosecution, represented by Special Public Prosecutor Naimat Ali Randhawa, five armed men kidnapped Mr Bhutto near Gulistan-i-Jauhar on Nov 17, 2004 when he was going to his residence in the DHA. Next day the Sharea Faisal police registered the case against unknown culprits on the complaint of Ijaz, the brother of victim’s wife.

The kidnappers initially demanded Rs250 million. However, after a series of negotiations, they accepted Rs2.9 million and released the victim on Dec 18, 2004.

Later, the AVCC arrested the accused who acted as middleman and received the ransom in three instalments.

The investigation officer submitted that he had moved an application for the release of the accused under Section 169 of the CrPC as he could not collect any evidence against the accused during the course of the investigation.

The same court had earlier on Jan 18 dismissed the application of the investigation officer seeking release of the accused under Section 169 of the Cr PC.

The accused also moved a constitutional petition in the Sindh High Court following the dismissal of the application of the investigation officer under Section 169 of the CrPC.

Then the accused moved on March 2 an application to the Sindh Chief Minister seeking withdrawal of the case against him. The home department submitted a summary to the CM for withdrawal of the case against accused Mushtaq Jatoi.

The CM approved the summary for withdrawal of the case and a notification to this effect was issued on May 5.

However, the court dismissed the application of prosecution and observed that the case would be decided after recording of the evidence.

Special public prosecutor Naimat Ali Randhawa examined in all 11 prosecution witnesses.