Three convicted for Imran Farooq’s murder, handed life imprisonment

Bureau Report

KARACHI:An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Islamabad handed life imprisonment to three accused in the Imran Farooq murder case on Thursday. The judgment was read by ATC Judge Shahrukh Arjumand as the accused appeared before the court through a video link to attend the hearing. “The prosecution has succeeded in proving the case against all three of you,” remarked the judge during today’s hearing. The accused, Khalid Shamim, Mohsin Ali Syed and Moazzam Ali had been in Adiala jail ever since they were arrested. Their sentences will run concurrently and their time already spent in jail will count towards their sentence, according to the detailed verdict issued. The court ordered the sentenced individuals to pay Rs1 million each to the heirs of the murdered MQM leader. It also issued perpetual arrest warrants for MQM founder Altaf Hussain, Iftikhar Hussain, Muhammad Anwar and Muhammad Kashif Khan Kamran. Following the announcement of the verdict, the slain MQM leader’s wife, Shumaila Farooq said that she won’t even wish for her enemies to go through such tough times as she had. She said that “strength” and “patience” are two important virtues to live by and she accepts the court’s decision. The court in its detailed order stated that it had been proved that the “MQM founder gave the orders” to murder Farooq. “Two senior leaders of MQM-London conveyed the orders to Pakistan,“ said the court in its 39-page order. It added that Moazzam Ali selected the boys to carry out the murder from the then MQM headquarter, Nine-Zero. “Mohsin Ali and Kashif Khan Kamran were selected for murdering Imran Farooq,” said the order, adding that both were taken to London and were provided support to carry out the crime. According to the judgment, the sole purpose of the murder ordered by the MQM founder was to remove the resistance being faced by him from within the party ranks. It adds that the statement provided by the convicts to the magistrate and the evidence presented had a clear link. “The aim of the murder was to ensure that no one raises their voice against the party founder,” said the order. The order said that those who murder innocent people under an elaborate plot are deserving of exemplary punishment. Under the Pakistan Penal Code, the death sentence is applicable for such a crime but an amendment in the Code does not allow death sentence to be given in a case where the evidence has been gathered in a different country — Britain in this case. Imran Farooq murder case The ATC announced the reserved judgment today (Thursday) in the murder case of the MQM leader Dr Imran Farooq, who was killed nine years ago in London. The judgment was reserved on May 21 after the completion of the trial. During the hearings, 29 witnesses recorded their statements in the case. In February, a team of Scotland Yard officers had arrived in Islamabad for a week to facilitate the trial taking place in both London and Pakistan after the UK and Pakistan decided to cooperate. Subsequently, Britain sent the entire murder case file to Pakistan for the trial. Last year, Pakistan’s lawyer in the UK for the murder case, Toby Cadman, said Britain handed “compelling evidence” to Islamabad. The MQM leader’s wife, Shumaila Farooq, was also interviewed from London during the lengthy trial. She read out her statement on what happened on September 16, 2010, when her husband was stabbed to death outside his home in Edgware.