KARACHI: An antiterrorism court has sentenced a man to five years in prison for collecting funds for the militant Islamic State group, also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh.
The man, Saleem Ahmed, was found guilty of having links with IS and raising funds for its terrorist activities in the country.
The judge of the ATC-XII, who conducted the trial in the judicial complex inside the central prison, pronounced his verdict reserved earlier after recording evidence and arguments from both sides.
The court also handed down five-year imprisonment to the accused under Section 11-F (membership, support and meetings relating to a proscribed organisation) of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 1997. The court also imposed a fine of Rs10,000 and in case of default the convict would undergo an additional imprisonment of four months.
ATC highlights defects in probe and asks IGP to conduct an inquiry against IO
The judge also sentenced him to six-month imprisonment and ordered to pay a fine of Rs10,000 under Section 11-F(1). On default, he would have to undergo an additional four-month simple imprisonment.
Defects in investigations
However, the judge noted defects in the investigation of the case and ordered the inspector general of Sindh police to conduct an inquiry against the investigating officer, Inspector Syed Ali Hyder, and Head Constable Majid Khan for allegedly spoiling the case through a defective investigation.
The court also directed the prosecutor general, Sindh to ensure compliance with the order through the additional IG of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) and explain to the court why such police officials were retained in the police service after committing such illegalities.
The court sought a report regarding compliance of its order within 30 days.
According to the prosecution, Sub-Inspector Mohammad Saleem on the directives of the high-ups arrested accused Saleem Ahmed, a resident of Karachi, on June 1 for his alleged association with proscribed IS as well as for collecting funds or donations meant to be used for terrorist activities in the country.
In his statement under Section 342 of the criminal procedure code, the accused denied all the allegations of fundraising levelled by the police against him and said that the police framed him in the case and he neither belonged to any such organisation nor anything was recovered from his possession.
Defence counsel Mohammad Nizar Tanoli argued that his client had lodged an FIR with the Anti-Corruption Establishment against then SSP Mohammad Asad Ali, thus police dragged him in a false and fabricated case in revenge.
The counsel also produced a copy of the FIR and a letter sent by the home department for removal of his name from the Fourth Schedule of the ATA under which the suspects are kept under watch.
On the other hand, state prosecutor Tahir Hussain Mangi submitted that there was sufficient evidence to connect the role of the accused with the commissioning of the offence and pleaded to punish him strictly in accordance with the law.
A case was registered under Sections 11-H, 11-N, 11-F(i),(ii) of the ATA, 1997 at the CTD police station.
Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2020