KARACHI: The Counter-Terrorism Department on Wednesday filed a charge sheet before the administrative judge of the antiterrorism courts in a case pertaining to the murder of leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Ali Raza Abidi.

The investigating officer of the CTD charge-sheeted four suspects, said to be members of one of the several criminal gangs operating in Lyari, and named as many absconders.

The CTD claimed to have arrested Mohammad Farooq, Abdul Haseeb, Mohammad Ghazali and Abu Bakar earlier this month for their alleged involvement in the case and contended that they were affiliated with criminal gangs operating in Lyari.

The IO has shown Bilal, Hasnain, Faizan and Ghulam Mustafa as absconders and placed 12 prosecution witnesses in the charge sheet.

The investigation report said that the suspects tried to set a motorcycle, used in the crime, on fire in a Lyari locality and claimed that the suspects were hitmen as one of the detained persons disclosed that an unidentified man paid them Rs800,000 for killing the former MNA.

The report further said that the suspects ‘confessed’ to their involvement before the police in the presence of the complainant of the case. However, it was silent about whether the suspects were produced before a magistrate for proper confessional statements when they were ‘willing’ to confess.

The IO said that Section 21-I (aid and abetment) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 was also incorporated in the case.

After accepting the charge sheet, the administrative judge of ATCs, Karachi, sent the matter to an ATC for trial.

According to the prosecution, 46-year-old Abidi, former MNA and leader of a faction of the MQM, was shot dead by armed motorcyclists in an attack on his vehicle near his residence in Defence Housing Authority, Phase-V on Dec 25 last year.

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2019