Alleged MQM hitmen acquitted in JI nazim murder case for lack of proof.

KARACHI -- An antiterrorism court acquitted three accused, said to be associated with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, in the murder case of former town nazim Dr Pervaiz Mehmood for lack of evidence.

Syed Masood Ali, alias Masood Kala; Mohammad Arif, alias Alto; and Syed Badar Ali, alias Babar Mota along with their 11 alleged accomplices were charged with killing Liaquatabad Town's former nazim belonging to the Jamaat-i-Islami near the KDA Chowrangi in North Nazimabad on Sept 17, 2012.

The ATC-XVII judge, who conducted the trial in the judicial complex inside the central prison, pronounced his judgment reserved earlier after recording evidence and final arguments from both sides.

The judge wrote that the 'prosecution failed to bring home guilt of the accused beyond any reasonable doubt and for giving benefit of doubt to an accused it is not necessary that there should be many circumstances creating doubt.'

Therefore, the judge extended the benefit of the doubt to the accused Masood Ali, Arif and Babar Ali and acquitted them of charges of murder and terrorism in the present case.

The court ordered the prison authorities to release them forthwith, if their custody was not required in any other case.

A connected case against the fourth detained suspect, Kanwar Imran Ali Khan, alias Imran Ejaz, is pending trial before the same court.

The court issued perpetual arrest warrants for 10 absconders, including former in-charge of MQM's Karachi Tanzeemi Committee Hammad Siddiqui and Faisal, alias Mota, who had already been sentenced to death in a case pertaining to the murder of Geo TV's reporter Wali Khan Babar.

The case against the absconders, who also included former sector in-charge Faisal, Imran Aijaz Niazi, Tahir Qadiyani, Zubair, alias Papa, Rehman Qureshi, Sameer Nai, Faizan Ilyas and Abdul Rehman was kept on dormant file till their arrest or surrender.

According to the prosecution, Masood Ali, alias Kala, was arrested in North Nazimabad on Nov 30, 2018 and explosives and illicit weapons were recovered from him.

It further mentioned that during the initial interrogation, Ali allegedly disclosed that he was associated with a militant wing allegedly run by the MQM and the then in-charge of the MQM Karachi Tanzeemi Committee, Hammad Siddiqui, had given him the task of killing Dr Pervaiz Mehmood.

Therefore, Masood allegedly confessed to have gunned down Dr Mehmood along with his accomplices, including Rehan, said to be a joint sector in-charge of the...

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