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SC order: Govt forms new JIT to probe Arshad Sharif murder

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  • ISI, MI officials included in new JIT.
  • JIT directed to submit periodic reports.
  • CJP says court wants transparent probe.

ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Thursday shared the names of the members of a new joint investigation team (JIT) formed to probe the murder of journalist Arshad Sharif with the Supreme Court.

The government has proposed new names for the team after the apex court Wednesday rejected a JIT formed earlier by Islamabad Police and ordered that an “independent” team be constituted to probe the case.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial is heading a five-member bench that is hearing the suo motu case into the gruesome murder of journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya on October 23.

The Kenyan authorities had claimed the journalist was killed in a mistaken identity case after which the African country’s Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) launched an investigation, the findings of which have not been released as yet.

Sharif fled Pakistan citing threats to his life after a number of treason cases were filed against him.

The apex court took notice and sought responses from the ministries of foreign and interior.

At the outset of today’s hearing, the federal government informed the court that a new JIT has been formed including DIG Islamabad Owais Ahmed, Director Cybercrime FIA Waqaruddin Syed, Sajid Kayani from Intelligence Bureau, Murtaza Afzal from Military Intelligence and Mohammad Aslam from Inter-Services Intelligence.

“We have received the response from the Foreign Office. According to Interior Ministry, the cabinet has asked the foreign minister to contact his Kenyan counterpart,” CJP Bandial said, adding, “The court doesn’t want o get involved in the administrative matters before investigations”.

At this, Additional Attorney General (AAG) Chaudhry Amir Rehman told the bench that they were launching the investigation into the murder immediately and the JIT would first record the statement of the slain journalist’s mother.

“The JIT will probe all the relevant persons in Pakistan and then start investigations in Kenya,” the AAG added.

The chief justice said that the court just wanted an impartial and transparent investigation. “The JIT can approach the Supreme Court in case it faces any hurdle in its investigation.”

Another member of the bench, Justice Mazahar Ali Naqvi inquired whether people named in the FIR would surrender.

At this, Justice Aijazul Ahsan said that those mentioned in the FIR can only be brought back through Interpol. “Once the JIT spins into actoin it can contact the agency.”

“How much time the investigation will take?,” Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar asked.

To this, the AAG responded that the duration of the investigation depends upon the level of assistance provided by the Kenyan authorities.

The chief justice then directed the JIT to submit a progress report fortnightly.

The Supreme Court said that the panel has been formed in light of FIR and the office of SSP Operation Islamabad will provide assistance to the JIT.

“The investigation team will try its best to complete the work soon,” the AAG said.

“It is also possible that the accused appear themselves, and if they do not appear, legal action can be taken against them,” said Justice Mazahar Naqvi.

AAG Amir Rehman said the real issue is the role of the Kenyan police and the investigation conducted by them.

The Supreme Court said the JIT would use the option of mutual legal cooperation between the two countries and adjourned the hearing of the case till the first week of January.

While issuing directives to the JIT to submit periodic reports, the apex court asked it to inform the court in writing in case it faces any problems.

“JIT would submit progress reports to judges in chambers for review,” the SC stated.

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Judge Muhammad Ali Warraich postpones the £190 million corruption lawsuit until June 21.

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The £190 million corruption case at Adiala Jail was heard by Judge Muhammad Ali Waraich of the Accountability Court. The hearing was postponed until June 21.

The cross-examination and statement of one witness took place during the case hearing. At the next hearing, four more witnesses will be put through cross-examination.

Up to now, 30 witness statements have been recorded, of which 22 have already undergone cross-examination.

Bushra Bibi, the founder of the PTI, was in court today throughout the proceedings.

The PTI’s legal representatives in the lawsuit included Shoaib Shaheen, Niazullah Niazi, Salman Akram Raja, and Ali Zafar.

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Nationwide protest gatherings will be held by the PTI on June 14.

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Zahir Shah, the minister of food for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has said that Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) will stage protests across the country to demand the release of PTI founder Imran Khan.

On June 14, protests around the country would take place, according to Zahir Shah Toru.

He added that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s chief minister had made plans for protests in every district.

In the protests, fictitious accusations made against PTI founder Imran Khan and its leadership will be denounced.

There would be no breaking of the law or the constitution, according to KP Minister Zahir Shah.

At 5:00 p.m., the Mardan demonstration will take place.

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Shah Mehmood, founder of the PTI, and others found not guilty in Azadi March case

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Information suggests that court magistrate Malik Muhammad Imran exonerated Imran Khan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and Sheikh Rasheed, the chief of AML, in addition to announcing the reserved verdict.

Acquittal of Sadaqat Abbasi and Ali Nawaz Awan from the Azadi March case was also ordered by the court.

It should be mentioned that numerous prominent members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), like as Shah Mahmood Qureshi, former prime minister Imran Khan, and others, were apprehended by the police in separate complaint letters pertaining to the Azadi March.

Following unrest between police and the PTI leader in the provincial capital, 42 charges were filed against PTI senior leaders and workers for agitation.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had previously found former prime minister Imran Khan and PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi not guilty in a case involving ciphers.

Decisions on appeals from the cipher case’s conviction were announced by Chief Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb of the IHC.

The party’s vice-chairman and founder, who was convicted in a similar case in January of this year, received 10-year prison sentences apiece.

On the other hand, Qureshi’s arrest in the crimes that occurred on May 9th and Imran’s sentences in the Toshakhana and Iddat cases mean that they are unlikely to be released from prison anytime soon.

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