KARACHI: An antiterrorism court on Friday handed down death sentence to a man and life imprisonment to his co-accused in the murder case of a senior lawyer.

Syed Azmat Hussain and Mohammad Hameed alias Pappu, said to be political activists, along with their absconding accomplices were charged with killing Advocate Mansoob Ali Qureshi in September 2001 in the Arambagh area.

On Friday, the ATC-XIII judge pronounced his verdict reserved after recording evidence and final arguments from both sides. Both the accused were brought to court from prison.

The judge noted that the prosecution successfully proved the charges against both the accused beyond a shadow of a doubt.

The judge handed down death sentence to Azmat and life term to Hameed.

The court sent them to prison to serve out the remainder of their sentences.

The court also issued perpetual warrants for arrest of convicts’ three alleged accomplices — Abdul Wahab, Shahzad and Nasir — who were declared absconders. Their case was kept on the dormant file till their arrest or surrender.

According to the prosecution, the accused had killed the lawyer within the remit of the Arambagh police station in September 2001.

However, the accused were arrested many years later by the Rangers, who had taken them into 90-day preventive detention and produced them before a joint investigation team (JIT)

The prosecution claimed that they had disclosed their involvement in the murder before the JIT.

The Rangers had claimed that both the men were associated with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

In their statements under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the accused denied all allegations levelled against them by the prosecution and pleaded their innocence.

Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2020