Two key pieces of evidence, including a mobile phone and a tablet, belonging to journalist Arshad Sharif, have reportedly gone ‘missing’ from the crime scene, according to Kenyan media reports.

Almost 20 days after the ‘murder’ of Mr Sharif, police have yet to make a breakthrough as they are still looking for the gadgets missing from the scene, Kenyan paper The Star reported.

A team of Pakistani investigators — comprising FIA Director Athar Wahid and IB Deputy DG Omar Shahid Hamid — sent to probe the killing also questioned the timing of the gadgets’ disappearance, which they believe might have been stolen when Mr Sharif was shot, the report said.

So far, police have established that Mr Sharif arrived in Kenya on Aug 20 on a visa that was sponsored by Waqar and Khurram Ahmed, the two brothers who hosted him. The latter was with Mr Sharif in the car when he was shot.

TV channels claim autopsy revealed signs journalist was ‘tortured’

The team of Pakistani investigators have sought names and contacts of instructors who were present at the shooting range when Mr Sharif was there, according to Kenyan news channel Nation. After the request, the Kenyan government has asked the two brothers to share the details of those present at the shooting range that night.

Meanwhile, Geo News, quoting a Kenyan government official, reported that around 10 US instructors and trainees were present at the site. In his statement to the team, Mr Waqar said he had met Mr Sharif just once before he invited him for dinner at the shooting range, as per the Nation report.

“After the meal, Arshad Sharif left with my brother Khurram in the car and half an hour later there was a report of firing on the vehicle,” he said.

The two brothers also told investigators that Mr Sharif wanted to permanently relocate to Kenya with his family and even extended his visa, according to the Nation.

In her interview to The Nation, Mr Sharif’s wife, Javeria Siddique, said she had asked her husband to leave Kenya and seek political asylum in another country as she didn’t believe it was safe. She also said her family was planning to take the case to the International Court of Justice as the governments of Pakistan and Kenya would “never provide them justice”.

On Tuesday, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had said that Mr Sharif was killed in a targeted attack, rejecting the claim of Kenyan police that his killing was a result of “mistaken identity”.

Also on Wednesday, several TV channels claimed that Mr Sharif was brutally tortured and shot at close range after he was asked to step out of his car.

News broadcasts showed images that allegedly showed bullet marks and signs of torture on the body, claiming that the postmortem mentioned signs of torture. Responding to the claims, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said the government’s stance had been proved wrong.

“The [alleged] signs of torture on Arshad Sharif shaheed invalidate Pakistan government’s stance that he was killed due to mistaken identity,” he tweeted.

Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2022

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