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October 20, 2019

Govt wants Sanaullah case moved to Pindi to ‘protect witnesses’

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APP
October 20, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Saturday requested the Lahore High Court (LHC) to start the trial of Rana Sanaullah drug case after its immediate transfer to Rawalpindi “for the protection of witnesses”.

“It is my humble submission to the Chief Justice Lahore High Court to shift Rana Sanaullah’s case to Rawalpindi and order the court to conduct its hearing on daily basis,” Minister of State for Narcotics Control Shehryar Khan Afridi said at a news conference here.

The minister asked the Punjab police chief to ensure protection of witnesses to the case as they complained of being threatened. “From the very first day, I emphasise in every press conference, talk show and other forums to start Rana Sanaullah’s trial but I have failed to understand the reason behind procrastination,” he said, citing the report of a national daily which stated the duty judge had turned down the prosecution plea for initiation of Rana’s trial.

He said the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) had sufficient evidence against the senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. Therefore, the trial of Sanaullah should be started at the earliest in order to remove confusion among the masses, he added.

Following the procedure mentioned in the Criminal Procedure Code, he said the ANF had submitted evidence against Sanaullah in a court within 17 days of his arrest. The evidence comprised recovered heroin, weapons, chemical analysis report and other instruments of the case, he added.

The government or any other institution could not intervene in the judicial process, he clarified. Afridi said the media had started the ANF and government’s trial, despite the fact the prosecution witnesses were yet to record their statements before the court.

Though, the apex court had barred the media from airing the statement of accused in Altaf Hussain case, the media was still giving full media coverage to Sanaullah and creating hype in the case, he added.

Besides finding out Sanaullah’s illegal investment in real estate, he said the government had traced out his bank accounts in which he had stashed heavy amount of money.

The former law minister declared the advocacy as his source of income in tax returns, Afridi added. Being an advocate, the minister said, not a single book of law of Pakistan carried Sanaullah name.

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