Pak anti-terrorism court acquits former parliamentarian

Shah Abdul Aziz was allegedly involved in kidnapping, murder of a Polish engineer.

Islamabad: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court on Saturday acquitted a former parliamentarian known for his links with militants in a case related to the abduction and execution of a Polish engineer.

Shah Abdul Aziz, a former member of the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament, and another accused were acquitted by Judge Raja Ikhlaq Hussain of the Rawalpindi-based court.

The judge gave both the accused the benefit of doubt since the prosecution could not present "solid evidence against them".

Police in Attock district of Punjab province had registered a case against Aziz and the other accused for their alleged involvement in the kidnapping and murder of Polish engineer Piotr Stanczak.

Stanczak was surveying oil and gas fields for Geofizyka Krakow, a Polish firm, when he was abducted in September 2008.

He was beheaded by the Taliban in February 2009 after negotiations for his release ended in failure.

In a separate case, Judge Hussain awarded the death sentence to Hameedullah Khan, who was arrested for a August 2008 suicide attack at the Pakistan Ordinance Factory at Wah that killed 69 people.

Khan was convicted for being part of a team of four suicide bombers that carried out the attack.

The court sentenced him to death for killing 69 people and directed him to pay a fine of Rs 200,000.

He was also given a life term for conspiring to carry out the attack, a 10-year jail term for attempting to kill more people and another 10-year jail term for injuring 70 people.

The court declared another accused in the same case, Maqsood Ahmed, as a proclaimed offender or fugitive.