Islamabad: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has acquitted six men who were arrested for alleged links to two suicide attacks carried out in the federal capital in 2007, saying the prosecution had not established their involvement in the assaults.
Fasihullah, Imdad Hussain, Qasim Mushtaq, Intikhab Ahmed Abbasi, Faisal Mushtaq and Tehseenullah were held in connection with suicide attacks at the district courts in Islamabad on July 17, 2007 and at Aabpara market 10 days later.
Anti-terrorism court Judge Malik Muhammad Akram Awan, who is also conducting the trial of seven suspects linked to the 2008 Mumbai attacks, said in his judgement yesterday that in district courts case, the prosecution had failed to establish the presence of four accused at the site of the incident.
According to the judgement, no prosecution witness could confirm the presence of the accused at the site except for a police official whose remarks in court contradicted his earlier statement.
The identification parade of the accused was carried out in Faisalabad Jail instead of Adiala Jail by a magistrate of Islamabad and the accused were transferred to Faisalabad without taking permission from the trial court, the judge noted.
The judgement further said that police from Margalla in Islamabad had stated that the accused were arrested by Shahzad Town and Bhara Kahu police stations but the daily diaries of these police stations did not substantiate the claim.
The six accused were arrested in August 2007 on charges of planning and executing the two suicide attacks that killed over 30 people, including policemen and activists of the Pakistan People`s Party, and injured more than 100.
Anti-terrorism courts have in recent weeks freed several suspects linked to major terrorist attacks, including the 2008 suicide car bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, for lack of evidence.