ATC rejects request submitted by accused persons’ counsels to withhold indictment
An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Karachi indicted the city’s mayor, Wasim Akhtar, and other leaders of the MQM in more cases pertaining to the May 12 carnage.
During a hearing on Saturday, the counsels of the accused persons requested the court to withhold the indictment, stating they had submitted a request to transfer the cases to another court due to lack of trust and were waiting on a verdict.
However, the ATC rejected the lawyers’ objections and dismissed the request to withhold the indictment.
Akhtar and other leaders of the MQM were earlier indicted in cases pertaining to the same incident – when more than 30 people were killed and over 100 others injured in attacks on rallies by political parties and lawyers who wanted to receive the then overthrown chief justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Chaudhry, at the Karachi airport.
Chaudhry had come to Karachi ahead of a lawyers’ gathering on May 12, 2007 but was sent back from the airport due to the unrest.
Among the indicted MQM leaders and workers, Akhtar and 19 others were granted bail while Umair Siddiqui was arrested in 2015 after which he confessed before a JIT to the more than 100 targeted killings he had carried out.