Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain appeared before a police station in London after he was summoned for questioning in a probe related to his alleged hate speeches relayed from the United Kingdom to his followers in Pakistan.
Hussain arrived at the Southwark police station at around 10am local time and left after nearly four-and-a-half hours, Mustafa Azizabadi of the MQM-London told Dawn.
He was allowed to leave after his bail was extended. The duration of the bail wasn't immediately known.
In June, the MQM founder was arrested from his London residence as part of the investigation into his alleged hate speeches. However, he was released on bail a day later by the British authorities without filing charges relating to the probe.
He was expected to appear before police today as his bail expired this month.
Speaking to reporters outside the police station upon his arrival, Hussain said: “I have trust in British law. I haven’t done anything wrong. I am not scared or afraid of anyone.”
“These are all fabricated cases. I am used to it,” he said.
As he was departing the police station, Hussain said the interview had been "good". Asked how he had responded to the questions, he said: "There is nothing to be commented [upon]."
The Metropolitan Police of London had raided Hussain’s residence on June 11, taken him into custody and shifted him to the Southwark police station, where he was questioned in the presence of his lawyers in connection with the probe that the police said was focused on a speech broadcast in August 2016 as well as other speeches.
After his release on bail, a source in MQM-London had told Dawn that the authorities had decided not to file charges but would continue with their investigation to get sufficient evidence or otherwise.
The MQM founder was arrested on suspicion of intentionally encouraging or assisting offences contrary to Section 44 (intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence) of the Serious Crime Act, 2007.
London-based Hussain has been a subject of various inquiries while living in self-exile for the past 27 years. He was first arrested on June 3, 2014, in connection with a money laundering probe and was released on bail after a couple of days.
In October 2016, the British authorities dropped the money laundering probe and returned a huge sum of cash recovered from Hussain’s home and office during separate raids in 2014.
Hussain was also interviewed by investigators probing the murder of Dr Imran Farooq, who was stabbed to death in London in 2010.
While a court had imposed a ban on Hussain's media coverage, his own party in Pakistan parted ways with him after he made an incendiary speech over phone on Aug 22, 2016. Since then, he has been facing an unannounced ban and his loyalists are not allowed to take part in political activities, or to even gather at the Nine Zero headquarters in Karachi's Azizabad which has been sealed off since 2016.
Pakistani authorities had complained to their British counterparts about Hussain’s incendiary speeches that according to them aimed at inciting his followers to violence.