KARACHI: An antiterrorism court has given a last chance to the prosecution to bring its witnesses in court for recording their testimonies in a double murder case against chief of the outlawed Peoples Amn Committee Uzair Baloch.

The directive was given by Additional District and Sessions Judge (South) Hatim Aziz Solangi, who has been conducting the trial of accused Baloch and Jibran in the judicial complex inside the central prison.

Both the accused have been charged with killing policeman Asif and passer-by Nisar and wounding Abdul Wahab and Nabeel in Chakiwara in 2012.

When the matter came up before Judge Solangi for hearing, Uzair Baloch was produced from Mitha Ram detention facility maintained by the Sindh Rangers, while co-accused Jibran was produced from Karachi central prison.

The court was set to record statements of the prosecution’s witnesses, who were no-show as the investigating officer of the case failed to produce them in court.

Defence counsel contended that three accused, who were caught on the spot, including Hafeez Dada, Babar Punjabi and Zubair, had already been acquitted in the case in 2016. The other co-accused Basit alias Maut and Zahoor were also acquitted in the case in 2020, he added.

However, the counsel alleged that an application of his client Baloch seeking his acquittal in the present case under Section 265-K of the criminal procedure code was lying pending for over one month, as the prosecution failed to record testimonies of its witnesses.

The counsel pleaded the court to direct the prosecution to record the witnesses’ statements at the earliest or pass an order, as it might deem appropriate, on the acquittal application since Baloch had no role in the commissioning of the alleged offence and he was indicted in the case much later.

The judge came down hard on the prosecution for failing to produce witnesses for recording their statements against the accused persons.

He issued warrants for arrest of the witnesses through the SSP concerned, who was told to ensure their presence before the court on the next date.

The judge also warned that the court might proceed with the case on its merits, if the prosecution failed to record the witnesses’ testimonies in future.

The hearing was adjourned till Sept 2.

According to the prosecution, Constable Asif and passer-by Nisar were shot dead in Chakiwara during firing between two groups of gangsters.

A murder case was registered at the Chakiwara police station on behalf of the state.

Published in Dawn, August 20th, 2023

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