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British passport holder Barrister Fahad Malik's murder a test case for Pakistan's justice system.

Summary: Court restrains jail superintendent from releasing main accused

ISLAMABAD: British passport holder Pakistani lawyer Barrister Fahad Malik's murder is becoming a test case for Pakistan's justice system as those accused of his murder belong to the powerful political families of "Raja" and "Khokhars" of Islamabad and reportedly exercise quite an influence on the local authorities -- police and the administration.

Malik, a nephew of former Senate Chairman and currently Minister for Privatisation Mohammad Mian Soomro, was murdered on August 15, 2016 in a clash with the powerful gangsters in the heart of Islamabad, Sector F-10.

The case is now in final stage but on Tuesday last (April 30) an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) granted post-arrest bail to the main accused in Malik's murder, Raja Arshad on April 30. However, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on application of Fahad's mother restrained the Adiala Jail Superintendent from his release.

Arshad's post-arrest bail was challenged in the Islamabad High Court by mother of Fahad Malikm, Maliha Malik and the two-member bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, while converting her application into a petition restrained the Central Prison Adiala superintendent "from releasing the accused, namely Raja Arshad." The bench also issued notices to the accused and the prosecution.

The bench directed the registrar's office "to communicate this order to the superintendent, Central Prison Adiala, Rawalpindi."

The applicant, Maliha Malik, contended before the court that the suspect was granted bail at a time when the trial of Malik's murder was in its final stages and statements of accused individuals are to be recorded under section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

She contended that Arshad was a fugitive from the law, arrested while attempting to flee the country. The accused was arrested trying to enter Afghanistan from the Torkham border crossing, as he was on the exit control list. The other accused facing murder charges include Noman Khokhar, and Hashim.

Raja Arshad is the one who had fled the scene of murder and was intercepted by the federal law enforcing authorities at the Torkham border when he was trying to pass the border.

National and international media is watching closely Fahad Malik's case as the accused are reportedly quite influential people and after registration of case in 2016, during the initial hearing an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) of Islamabad in its order removed the terrorism charges and transferred the case to an ordinary court.

However, Malik's family persisted and challenged the court's order in high court and thus got the terrorism charges restored. It took the family some eighteen months to undo the wrongful.

Later, the hearing delayed on one pretext or the other but Malik's brother Jawwad Malik along with a few members of civil society is struggling to get justice for his murdered brother.

Last year, a number of British Parliamentarians, 20 to be exact, wrote a letter to the then Chief Justice Saqib Nisar expressing their concern over delay in proceedings of Fahad Malik's murder case.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:May 2, 2019
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