Karachi: Man acquitted
KARACHI: An anti–terrorism court acquitted an accused on Wednesday in a kidnap for ransom case of a three-year-old boy due to lack of sufficient evidence against him after finding glaring contradictions in the statements of prosecution witnesses. The verdict was announced by Judge Abdul GhafoorMemon of ATC-II after recording final arguments from both sides. Sultan Zaib, son of Shah Nazar, along with his absconding associates were charged with kidnapping Astam Khan`s son, Hashim Khan, in the Site police limits last year and obtaining ransom for his release. According to the prosecution, Sultan Zaib and his associates had allegedly kidnapped three-year-old Hashim on January 4, 2007, in the Site police limits. He took the boy to the tribal areas and demanded a ransom of Rs0.95 million for his release. The accused released the child only after collecting the ransom, it said.
A case (FIR No 40/2007) was registered against the accused under Section 365–A/34 of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act at the Site police station on the complaint of victim`s father. The police said that the accused was arrested on Aug 22, 2007. The investigation officer had placed 15 prosecution witnesses in the charge-sheet. However, the prosecution examined only eight witnesses, while the rest were given up by court on the prosecutor`s request.
In the final arguments, special public prosecutor Taseer Khan said the prosecution had successfully proved its case against the accused by producing ample evidence before the trial court.
The counsel said the victim, the complainant and a prosecution witness had identified the accused during the identification parade held in the court of a judicial magistrate. He argued all the witnesses in testimonies had confirmed involvement of the accused in the case and pleaded for maximum punishment.
However, the defence counsel AshfaqRafiqJanjua submitted that the prosecution failed to prove its case and argued that the victim did not identify the accused, while the identification parade had not been held as per law and procedure. He submitted that there were glaring contradictions in the statements of witnesses, and requested the court to acquit his client.