State seeks new venue for Pearl trial after threats -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

State seeks new venue for Pearl trial after threats

KARACHI- Secret agencies have reported that the prosecution team, witnesses and the trial court of Daniel Pearl murder case are under threat of attack if the venue is not shifted out of Karachi. This was stated in a petition filed by Advocate General (AG) Sindh, Raja Qureshi in the Sindh High Court on Monday. In the application the state prayed the court to allow shifting of the venue of trial to a city other than Karachi.

“The sensitivity and seriousness of the matter is of a degree which requires immediate shifting of the venue for the protection of the prosecution team, prosecution witnesses and the investigators of the case,” says the application filed under Section 561-A (inherent powers of high court).

Earlier, the state had moved an application for transfer of the case from the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) headed by Judge Abdul Ghafoor Memon to some other ATC. This application is fixed before the bench headed by the chief justice for hearing on Tuesday, when the latest application will also be placed before the same bench.

The AG has submitted in the second application that he had been receiving threatening calls demanding that he and his team should not proceed with the matter against accused Omar Shaikh and others. “The seriousness of the matter can be visualised by the source reports provided to the undersigned (AG Sindh) by the respective departments (secret agencies) confirming the aspect that the prosecution team, prosecution witnesses and other associated persons are under threat to the extent that the venue would be done away with if the proceedings are attempted to be proceeded against the accused,” says the application. The AG, in the application, undertook to submit the report of intelligence agencies before the court at the time of hearing of the application.
Source: The News
Date:4/30/2002