Rawalpindi: Man acquitted in Melody suicide attack case
RAWALPINDI: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) here on Tuesday acquitted a man in a suicide attack case in which 15 policemen and two civilians near Islamabad`s Melody Market were killed in July 2008.
The policemen were on duty outside a congregation to mark the first anniversary of the military operation against Lal Masjid.
ATC-I Judge Malik Mohammad Akram Awan acquitted Qari Ilyas in the suicide case registered with Aabpara police station on July 6, 2008. The accused along with eight other men has already been absolved from the charges of arranging suicide attack on the surgeon general of Pakistan Army in February 2008.
Terming Ilyas, a resident of Chakwal, a hardened militant, police had told the court that he was seen directing the suicide bomber just before the attack on the policy party near Melody Market.
The prosecution cited two policemen as witnesses, saying they had seen the accused with the man who carried out the attack. Later, the witnesses identified Ilyas when he was in police custody.
But the prosecution could not fulfill the requirement of identification parade in the jail under the supervision of a magistrate, casting doubts about the claim of witnesses.
Ilyas, accused of helping suicide attackers in different cases in the twin cities, was arrested with eight men from a locality near Rawalpindi city in January 2009.