KARACHI: Despite the fact that Saulat Mirza had named Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Babar Ghori in the Shahid Hamid murder case in a televised confession hours before his execution in March, a joint investigation team has chosen not to recommend reopening of the high-profile case saying it has “already attained finality in trial”, it emerged on Thursday.
Mirza was hanged to death in Machh jail on May 12, 2015. He was sentenced to death by an antiterrorism court in 1999 for killing then Karachi Electric Supply Corporation chief Shahid Hamid in July 1997.
The JIT was formed to investigate the allegations levelled by Mirza in a video statement, purported to be made in Machh Jail, and telecast by several television channels hours before his planned execution on March 19. President Mamnoon Hussain suspended his execution and directed the Sindh government to constitute a JIT.
In the video statement and later before the JIT, Mirza owned and repeated the details of the Shahid Hamid murder case, mentioned the role of Babar Ghori in the assassination of the then KESC chief and told the JIT that the weapons had been provided by the MQM leader.
While Mirza refused to tell the seven-member JIT about the person who recorded his video statement apparently in Machh jail and in a case of remarkable incuriosity the JIT did not press for an answer, it nevertheless “cross-examined him at length” as to why he named Mr Ghori in the Shahid Hamid murder case.
The JIT “confronted him with his earlier statements before police and court wherein he had never implicated Babar Ghori. He was asked to explain the reasons for not mentioning him as accomplice and explanation for mentioning his role at this stage,” reads the JIT report, a copy of which is available with Dawn.
“He couldn’t give any plausible explanation for such a major departure from his earlier versions of the incident,” it adds.
In its findings, the JIT recommended, “the Shahid Hamid murder case has already attained finality in trial. The names of accused mentioned by the condemned prisoner Mirza were already mentioned in his earlier statements except that of Mr Babar Ghori.
“Keeping in view the stage of the case, court verdict and inconsistencies in his statements before police in 1998 when he was arrested, before the magistrate under Section 342 CrPC and before the present joint investigation team, the JIT considers that his current statement regarding involvement of Mr Babar Ghori in the murder case requires further corroborative evidence for instance some other material evidence or independent witnesses or statement of one of the co-accused in the Shahid Hamid murder case if arrested.”
The same JIT, however, recommended that the government reopen a 17-year-old murder case pertaining to the killing of the chairman of the Board of Secondary Education, Karachi, Ismail Memon, who was shot dead in Soldier Bazaar in 1998.
“Since Saulat Mirza has identified the killers involved in planning and execution of assassination of Mr Ismail Memon, the JIT recommends to reopen the FIR No 305/98 of PS Soldier Bazaar in light of his statement recorded by the present JIT,” the report reads.
According to the JIT report, Mirza told investigators that “he was sitting with Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Masood Siddiqi, Sohail DC, Kamran alias Kami and Wasy Jalil, where Wasy Jalil directed Sohail DC and Kamran for the killing” of BSE chairman Ismail Memon.
Mr Siddiqui is a sitting member of the national assembly and Mr Jalil was a former nazim of defunct Gulshan-i-Iqbal Town.
In the light of Mirza’s disclosures about his lifestyle in prison, the JIT recommended a high-powered commission for jail reforms to ensure effective checks and balances, round-the-clock surveillance and healthy atmosphere in jails.
The JIT members also regretted involvement of political figures in alleged misuse of police and legal process to give favour to the suspects/accused.
“Saulat’s disclosure about misuse of services like the Khidmat-i-Khalq Foundation (KKF) is quite startling,” said the JIT report.
They urged the authorities to initiate a comprehensive scrutiny of all social welfare organisations related to or are offshoots of any political, religio-political or a religious party.
Courtesy : DawnNews