Karachi: Four acquitted in kidnap for ransom case
KARACHI: Four men accused of kidnapping a 13-year-old boy for ransom was acquitted on Tuesday by an anti-terrorism court due to a lack of evidence. Judge Haq Nawaz Baloch of ATC-V, who conducted the trial, announced the verdict after recording final arguments from both sides.
The judgment says the prosecution failed to produce sufficient evidence before the court in order to prove its case. It adds that there were glaring contradictions in the statements of prosecution witnesses. The judge acquitted Yaseen Ghori, Arshad, Aurangzeb and Babu.
According to the prosecution, the accused had allegedly kidnapped 13-year-old Ameer Abdal, son of Mohammad Iqbal, on July 31, 2007, in the Soldier Bazaar police limits and demanded Rs30 million as ransom. But they reportedly reduced the amount to Rs2.5 million later and asked the victim’s family to deliver the amount at a specific point near Sohrab Goth. The father of the kidnapped boy, along with a police party, reached the location where police caught one of the suspects, Aurangzeb.
During the initial interrogation, the suspect was said to have disclosed the whereabouts of the boy and his kidnappers. On his information, a team of the anti-violent crime unit raided a house in Machhar Colony on Aug 2, 2007 and recovered the boy after a shootout. Police arrested Yaseen Ghori, Arshad and Babu from the place where the kidnapped boy had been kept and recovered illegal weapons from their possession.
On the complaint of Mohammad Iqbal, a case (FIR No 94/2007) was registered against the accused under Section 365-A34 of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-terrorism Act at Soldier Bazaar police station. Two other cases were also lodged against the accused under Section 13-D of the Arms Ordinance and Sections 353 and 324 of the PPC.
Around 13 prosecution witnesses were examined in the case. The court also acquitted all four accused in two other cases pertaining to the possession of illegal weapons and a shootout with the police, since the prosecution was unsuccessful in proving their involvement.
In their final arguments, defence counsel Mushtaq Ahmed and Ashfaq Janjua said their clients were falsely implicated in the case and the prosecution had failed to give any proof of their involvement in the crime.
Mr Ahmed submitted that there were glaring contradictions in the statements of the prosecution witnesses. He said the prosecution did not collect any data regarding the phone calls allegedly made by the accused. He said in their statements, the prosecution witnesses had not mentioned that they saw the kidnappers.
He further submitted that the prosecution had failed to produce any evidence before the trial court in support of its claim that the police had raided a house in Machhar Colony, recovered the kidnapped boy and arrested the said accused after a shootout, adding that no one was injured during the so-called shootout. He pleaded for the acquittal of his clients.
The special public prosecutor, however, argued that the prosecution successfully proved the involvement of the accused and prayed to the court to sentence the accused to death.
The complete article can be found at Dawn News.