IS militant awarded 35 years in prison by ATC

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An anti-terrorism court (ATC) sentenced a man, allegedly associated with the militant Islamic State group, to a collective prison term of 35 years in cases pertaining to possessing illicit weapons and explosives.

Furqan alias Azam was found guilty of possessing illicit weapons and explosives within the jurisdiction of the Malir City police station in 2019.The convict is one of the two men handed down death penalty on 70 counts in a case pertaining to the 2017 suicide blast that killed around 70 people and injured dozen others at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar. In Sehwan.

The ATC-V judge, who conducted the trial in the judicial complex inside the central prison, announced the verdict he had reserved after recording evidence and hearing final arguments from both sides.He said the prosecution successfully proved the charges against the accused beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt.

The court sentenced him to 14-year imprisonment with a Rs100,000 fine on count of possessing explosives. On failure to pay the fine, he would have to undergo an additional imprisonment of six months.

The convict was awarded a prison term of 21 years with a Rs150,000 fine for possessing illicit weapons, and on default, he would have to undergo an additional nine-month imprisonment.

The court also ordered forfeiture of his movable or immovable properties by the government under Section 5-A of the Explosive Substance Act, 1908. All the sentences shall run concurrently, it said.

State prosecutor Rizwana Jalib argued that Furqan, during interrogation, disclosed having dumped explosives and weapons in the Jahari Dar Forest inside the Malir River.She added that on his pointation police recovered one rifle, three 30-bore caliber pistols along with ammunition and a hand-grenade. The accused failed to provide any licence for keeping the arms and ammunition, she added.

Defence counsel Khalid Hashmat highlighted, what he called, contradictions in the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses recorded first before the police under Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code, and then before the court. He argued that the same had been recorded in 2020 after a period of one year.

 

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