Thursday May 30, 2024

Arshad Sharif murder: Kenya avoids producing key shooter before Pakistan team in probe

Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency believes Kenya police involved in Arshad Sharif's murder

By Murtaza Ali Shah
November 12, 2022
Slain Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif. — AFP
Slain Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif. — AFP

LONDON: The Kenyan police didn’t produce before two Pakistani investigators one of the shooters involved in firing bullets at renowned journalist Arshad Sharif, said Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director-General Mohsin Hassan Butt.

He said in an interview with The News that the evidence gathered by Pakistan so far suggests clearly that the slain journalist was killed in a well-organised and planned assassination in Kenya.

The top FIA official said it looked certain that the senior journalist was a victim of a murder plot and this is based on the evidence Pakistan has gathered so far. “We believe that the Kenya police was involved in the targeted killing of Arshad Sharif,” the senior FIA officers said.

The DG FIA confirmed that the investigation officials from Pakistan wanted to question four firearms shooters of Kenyan police about the incident but the Kenyan police produced only three.

“Our team wanted to interview all four shooters to record their statements but they produced only three shooters and told our team that the fourth shooter is injured and unable to be interviewed. The Kenya police told the Pakistani team that the shooter who cannot be produced for questioning is the one who was injured in the firing done from inside Arshad Sharif’s car,” Butt told this reporter.

He said Pakistani investigators were very keen to meet the fourth shooter to record his statement too but were unable to do so. “We were not given access to the shooter, who had got his hand injured in the incident two weeks back. Not being given access to the shooter is against logic as this officer’s statement is important. The Kenya police have said he was injured in firing from Arshad Sharif’s car. Our team wanted to see his injuries and evidence,” he said.

He shared with Geo News that senior Pakistani investigators – Omar Shahid Hamid and Ather Waheed – inspected the Toyota Land Cruiser in which Arshad Sharif was travelling but didn’t see any evidence of any firing being done from inside the car towards outside.

Butt said there were serious contradictions in the statements made by the Kenya police shooters. He said some statements were contradictory to the extent of “being illogical”.

He said that the three shooters repeated the same stance already stated by the Kenyan police to the media that Sharif was killed in a mistaken identity case and also that bullets were fired from his vehicle but the Pakistani investigators wanted to see evidence of that and were given none.

He said the Kenyan police officers told Pakistani investigators that they opened fire when Sharif’s car didn’t stop but they didn’t produce any proof of firing from inside the car and inspection of the car showed no signs of any firing being done from inside the car towards outside.

“Kenyan Police have been bound under international law to extend assistance in the investigation of the brutal murder of the Pakistani journalist,” Butt added.

Sharif was killed in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on October 23 when he was returning from the AmmoDump shooting site towards the capital of Kenya. He was being driven by Khurram Ahmad.