Pak court rejects acquittal plea of 3 `linked` to US terror plot
Last Updated: Wednesday, April 06, 2011, 14:25
Islamabad: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has dismissed the acquittal plea of three men arrested for their alleged links with Faisal Shahzad, jailed in the US for a botched car bomb attack in New York's Times Square in May last year.

Special Judge Malik Muhammad Akram Awan of the Rawalpindi-based court yesterday dismissed the plea filed by Akhtar and Mohammad Shoaib Mughal of Rawalpindi and Mohammad Shahid Hussain of Islamabad.

The judge said they would be given a proper opportunity to defend themselves during their trial.

The court adjourned the matter till April 15 and will record the statements of prosecution witnesses at the next hearing.

Police arrested the three accused on the Islamabad Highway on September 5 last year and seized their vehicle, a laptop and pro-Taliban literature.

They have been charged under different sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, Anti-Terrorism Act and a cyber crimes law.

"In their application for acquittal, the accused said they were picked up by intelligence agencies in May last year from their residences and their relatives registered FIRs regarding their abduction," according to Basharratullah Khan, the counsel for the three men.

He said an inquiry commission set up by the Interior Ministry to trace people detained without charge by security agencies had reported the alleged abduction of the three men.

Prosecution lawyer Tayyab Shah said such an inquiry report could not be used for acquittal.

If there was any report about the men being missing, the defence lawyer should produce the document in the court as evidence, he said.

He alleged that it had been established during investigations that the three men were not picked up by security agencies but they had gone into hiding and were later arrested by police.

The court was informed that the accused had, in a statement made before a judicial magistrate, confessed to their links with Shahzad and to providing him USD 43,000 for carrying out the terror attack.

The prosecution lawyer said investigators had obtained the record of a conversation between the accused and Shahzad.


First Published: Wednesday, April 06, 2011, 14:25

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