Government approaches SHC for transfer of Wali Babar murder trial
Karachi: The provincial government filed an application with the Sindh High Court on Monday seeking the transfer of Geo News reporter Wali Khan Babar’s murder trial from an anti-terrorism court of Karachi to Shikarpur over security concerns for witnesses, the prosecutors and investigators.
The application was filed by the member inspection team of the high court with a request that the chief justice pass an administrative order for the transfer of the high-profile trial to Shikarpur.
The chief justice of the high court has the authority to transfer the trial court’s proceedings from one district to another.Five men — Mohammad Shahrukh, 22, Faisal Mehmood, 43, Mohammad Shakeel, 42, Syed Tahir Naveed Shah, 32, and Syed Mohammad Ali Rizvi, 38 – were indicted in October 2011 for their involvement in murdering Babar, who was shot dead in the Super Market area of Liaquatabad on January 13, 2011.
According to the prosecution, the accused were arrested in Gulshan-e-Iqbal after a shootout and during interrogation they confessed to their involvement in the murder.Police charged that the defendants along with their absconding associates — Kamran alias Zeeshan, Junaid, Saeed, Liaquat and Faisal —killed the journalist due to some enmity.
The charge sheet stated that accused were identified by an eyewitness before a judicial magistrate and one of them, Shahrukh, recorded his confessional statement before the court. The murder trial has made little progress. According to the police, prosecution witnesses, including police informer Rajab Ali Bengali, constable Asif Rafiq, head constable Arshad Kundi and Super Market SHO’s brother Naveed Khan, have been murdered.
In September this year, a former special public prosecutor, Naimat Ali Randhawa, who was engaged by the government to prosecute the accused, was shot dead in North Nazimabad.