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October 19, 2017

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Eyewitness in Mashal lynching case retracts statement

HARIPUR: A prosecution eyewitness of the Mashal Khan murder case here on Wednesday declined to testify that he saw one of the accused opening fire on the student. He accused the police of forcing him to become an eyewitness.

Sayyab Mohammad, a student of Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, retracted his earlier statement which he had first recorded before the court of judicial magistrate endorsing that Imran, one of the 60 accused, opened fire on Mashal and killed him.

Sayyab was brought in a police van from Mardan to Haripur to the Anti-Terrorism Court amid tight security. The prosecution witness told the court that the police had kept him under eight-day custody and tortured him to become an eyewitness but the fact was that he did not even recognise who exactly Imran was and where he lived.

After Sayyab's statement, the prosecution side told the court that their witness had become hostile due to pressure tactics or enticement applied by the defence side. The counsels requested the court for giving time for working on three other witnesses present in the court but the judge asked them to continue recording the evidence or abandon them.

However, the prosecution counsels abandoned the rest of three eyewitnesses, declaring that they would move the PHC against the court's decision of not allowing them time for readying rest of the three eyewitnesses. The hearing was adjourned till the 25th of the current month.

Talking to newsmen, Sardar Abdul Rauf Khan, the prosecution counsel, said that the defence side had won over the eyewitness either through coercive methods or purchasing his loyalties. He said that they abandoned their three other eyewitnesses as they wanted to work on them properly for a couple of days.

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