Three prosecution witnesses record statement in human smuggling case

By Our Correspondent
June 23, 2024
This representational image shows the gavel in a courtroom. — Unsplash/File

A District East judicial magistrate on Saturday recorded the statements of three witnesses in a case pertaining to human smuggling and tampering of record against philanthropist Sarim Burney.

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Police produced Burney before the court where the magistrate recorded the statements of Afsheen, mother of the minor girl who was allegedly smuggled to the United States, and Bushra and Ayaz, a couple who had applied for the adoption of the girl.

The statements of the witnesses were recorded in the judge’s chamber in the presence of the suspect and his lawyer Amir Mansoob Qureshi. The defendant’s counsel said that he would cross-examine them later.

The court adjourned the hearing after recording the statements.

Burney’s counsel said the Federal Investigation Agency had recorded the statements of three witnesses who would be cross-examined during the trial proceedings.

The counsel said that Haya's mother Afsheen had recorded a statement in the court under the section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and stated that after the birth of the baby girl Haya, she was not able to bear her expenses due to poverty.

She stated that she gave the girl to Dr Madiha. She added that later she came to know that Dr Madiha had given the girl to someone else and her daughter had been shifted to the Sarim Burney Trust.

The mother said that she contacted the trust for the return of her girl, but she was told that the baby girl would remain with the trust and would not be handed over to anyone.

She said that later she came to know that the girl was handed over to some family in the US.

Qureshi said that another witness Bushra said in her statement that they were issueless and wanted to adopt a child. She said she and her spouse saw an advertisement on social media with regard to adopting a baby after which they adopted the girl. She said Dr Madiha later demanded Rs600,000 from them and threatened to register a case if payment was not given. She said that they belonged to a low-income group so they returned the infant to the trust and later they came to know that the girl was handed over to a family in the US.

Talking to the media, Burney said he had not committed any offence. He added that he had complete trust in the judicial system of the country. He said that he was being defamed due to media trial.

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