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National

December 23, 2015
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Shumaila Imran gives ‘sworn testimony’ in court

National

December 23, 2015

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Wife of late MQM leader appears in magistrate’s
court amid special security arrangements;two witnesses and police also record statements

LONDON: The family of slain Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader, Dr Imran Farooq, appeared before a magistrate’s court in West London and recorded a “sworn testimony” in relation to the murder investigation of the slain Pakistani politician.

Shumaila Imran Farooq, widow of Dr Imran Farooq, and her two sons, Alishaan and Wejdaan, appeared before the court amid special security arrangements. Two other witnesses of the murder, also appeared before the judge and gave their “sworn testimonies”. Detectives working on the murder case also recorded their statements.

Dr Imran Farooq, former senior Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader, was fatally attacked while on way to his home in Edgware, London on September 16, 2010. The counter-terrorism section of the Scotland Yard is investigating the murder case.

It was for the first time that Shumaila Imran appeared before the magistrate. Special arrangements were made for the appearance of Dr Imran Farooq’s family members. The hearing took place in a secure room, which was emptied of all members of public at the request of the police.

Sources told The News that Shumaila Imran submitted a witness statement to the court in the presence of the police. She gave the “sworn testimony” — on the holy Quran — about the killing of her husband and what she was aware of about the tragedy.

According to the sources, Shumaila Imran confirmed to the magistrate about her earlier statement given to the police soon after the killing of her husband. She also confirmed to the court that it was her own statement and that the account was genuine.

This scribe is aware that Shumaila Imran told the magistrate in detail about what she knew about the killing of her husband.  Her testimony was recorded and sealed by the judge and a copy was handed over to the detectives working on the case, the sources said.

This scribe is aware that two other witnesses of Dr Imran Farooq’s assassination also appeared before the judge and gave their “sworn testimonies”. These were those who lived on the same street on Green Lane where Dr Imran Farooq lived with his wife and two sons.

Shumaila Imran’s appearance before the court came after detectives — led by Counter-Terror Chief Commander Richard Walton — visited Pakistan earlier this year and held talks with Pakistani authorities.

Later, Pakistan gave the Scotland Yard detectives access to three suspects in Pakistan’s custody, Mohsin Ali Syed, Moazzam Ali Khan and Khalid Shamim. The detectives, relying on the information gathered from these suspects, stepped up their wok in the UK to piece together the evidence.

The court appearance of Shumaila Imran comes as a result of the cooperation between the investigators in the UK and Pakistan, according to the sources. “Important developments are set to take place,” a credible police source added.

Criminal lawyer Shahid Khan of Advice Wise Solicitors told The News that Shumaila’s appearance before a magistrates court judge is of great significance and shows that developments are taking place and that there is cooperation between the Pakistan authorities and the British police. “Private hearings or applications are often heard before a court in absence of public and press. This is usually in order to protect the identity of the witness to protect the details of any investigation which maybe at an early stage and also so that the information released is not prejudice (to) any other ongoing investigations,” he said.

“Therefore, it would be in the interest of justice not to disclose the contents of the hearing to the public and press at this stage. The police can often call in witnesses to support any application which they may be making before a court. The contents of the witness statements have not been made public nor will they be made public unless the witness gives evidence at a public trial or otherwise.”

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