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Lal Masjid cleric acquitted in four cases

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 - 14:47

Islamabad: The radical Lal Masjid`s chief
cleric Abdul Aziz has been acquitted by a Pakistani court in four of the 12 cases registered against him for various
crimes, including challenging the government writ by keeping
illegal arms.

Judicial Magistrate Kashif Qayyum Sheikh yesterday
acquitted Aziz in the four cases that were registered against
him at Aabpara police station in Islamabad.

The charges in these case included delivering provocative
speeches against former President Pervez Musharraf`s government, participating in issuing fatwas against the Pakistani military`s operations in the tribal areas, possession of illegal arms and kidnapping policemen.

Aziz`s lawyer Wajeehullah Khan claimed his client was not
guilty and Musharraf had implicated him in false cases for
which the prosecution presented only nine witnesses.

Khan claimed the prosecution had failed to present enough
witnesses and evidence against Aziz.

Even recordings of Aziz`s speeches were not presented in
court by the prosecution, Khan contended.

In a case registered in 2005, Aziz was accused of
delivering provocative speeches against the government during
a protest led by the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal.

This speech incited protestors to attack policemen.

Two other cases were filed against Aziz in 2004 and 2005
after police conducted raids on the Lal Masjid to arrest the
cleric and his brother Abdul Rashid Ghazi.

Though the brothers fled, police seized arms and
ammunition from their living quarters.


First Published: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 - 14:47
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