Karachi: 2 more witnesses turn hostile in sectarian killing case
KARACHI: Two key prosecution witnesses on Tuesday turned hostile before an anti-terrorism court in a sectarian killing case. Mohammad Ajmal alias Akram Lahori, the alleged chief of the proscribed Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, and his accomplices Attaullah alias Qasim and Mohammad Azam alias Sharif have been charged with killing Syed Jawad Hussain Rizvi and wounding his friend Zamarud Hussain Jaffri in the Defence Housing Authority area in January 2002.
In July 2002, two eyewitnesses Mohammad Nadir and Ikramuddin had recorded their statements under Section 164 of the criminal procedure code before the court of a judicial magistrate and deposed against the accused persons.
They had also picked out all the accused during an identification parade conducted by the magistrate under the Qanun-i-Shahadat Order 1984 and attributed their roles in the commissioning of the offence.
However, on Tuesday, both the witnesses appeared before Judge Ghulam Mustafa Memon of the ATC -III, who is conducting the trial inside the central prison due to security concerns, and recorded their testimonies.
They deposed that they along with a friend, Muhammad Irshad, also an eyewitness, were coming back from the Seaview area when they saw some men riding two motorcycles open fire on a vehicle.
However, they failed to pick out the accused they had identified over nine years back during the identification parade. Pointing at the accused present in court, both the witnesses deposed that they were not among those who had opened fire.
The public prosecutor requested the court to declare the witnesses hostile since they had deviated from their earlier statements.
The court allowed the plea and declared the eyewitnesses hostile and adjourned the hearing till Feb 1 for further evidence.
On a previous hearing held on Dec 13, 2011, eyewitness Irshad had also turned hostile.
According to the prosecution, the accused had sprayed the vehicle of Jawad Hussain Rizvi with bullets on Jan 29, 2002 in DHA, killing him and wounding his friend.
The accused were arrested on June 29, 2002 within the remit of the Defence police station in three cases registered under Section 13-D of the Arms Ordinance. During initial interrogation, the accused had disclosed their involvement in a number of cases pertaining to sectarian killings, including the present case.A case (FIR 52/2002) was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 324 (attempted murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the AntiTerrorism Act, 1997 at the Darakhshan police station.