The terrorism facilitation case against Dr Asim Hussain took a new course, on Monday, after the anti-terrorism court hearing the case lent consideration to the prosecution’s plea to make the Joint Investigation Team’s findings a part of the trial.
The court after hearing initial arguments of Rangers’ prosecutor, Sajid Mehboob, fixed November 18 to hear and further examine arguments of the prosecutor as well as attorneys of the accused.
Mehboob claimed that Dr Hussain had neither challenged the legal status of the JIT report, nor did he object to the formation of a JIT to investigate the case. Hence, it was fair to make the report a part of the case and the trial, the prosecutor maintained.
The prosecutor stated that the home department had issued a notification for the formation of a JIT, and since none of Dr Hussain’s attorneys challenged the notification it was justified to treat the report as evidence.
Advocate Amir Naqvi and other attorneys defending Dr Hussain and others were present in the court. However, the court observed that all the nominated accused must appear on November 18 along with their respective attorneys.
Besides Dr Hussain, PPP leader Abdul Qadir Patel, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM-P) leader Rauf Siddiqui and Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar, former MQM member, Saleem Shahzad, Pak Sarzameen Party leader, Anis Qaimkhani, Pasban chief, Usman Moaazam, are among the accused.
They politicians are alleged to have facilitated terrorists and criminals by getting them medically treated at two of the hospitals Dr Hussain owns. At present, all the political leaders have been granted bail by the ATC in this case. The case was registered on complaint of Rangers deputy superintendent, Muhammad Inayatullah Durrani. It was transferred to the judge of ATC (II) for hearing by an administrative judge of the ATCs.
The former petroleum minister of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Dr Hussain, is facing two other cases pertaining to charges of corruption. He is said to have inflicted losses of Rs462 billion and Rs17 billion respectively in the two cases, during his time as the petroleum minister.
NBWs for MQM-P leaders
On failing to appear before the court, the judicial magistrate (South) once again issued non-bailable warrants of arrest (NBWs) against some 12 leaders of the MQM-P, including its chief, Dr Farooq Sattar, and senior leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.
The court has ordered all the leaders, including those who have acquired bail, to appear before the court on November 18. The same court has many a times in previous hearings issued NBWs against these leaders in the case pertaining to disruption of law and order during a protest, held outside the Chief Minister House, against the city’s acute water shortage.
Besides Sattar and Siddiqui, other leaders nominated in the case include Ameen-ul-Haq, Khushbakht Shujaat, Aslam Afridi, Waseem Akhtar and the party’s opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly, Khawaja Izharul Hassan, Mehfooz Yar Khan and Sathi Ishaq – he later defected to the MQM-London.