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Prosecution asks Karachi ATC to re-open trial against Saad Aziz in Debra Lobo attack case

Prosecution asks Karachi ATC to re-open trial against Saad Aziz in Debra Lobo attack case

The prosecution has requested an anti-terrorism court in Karachi to re-open the trial against detained convict Saad Aziz in a case pertaining to an attempt on the life of American educationist Debra Lobo in 2015.

Saad Aziz alias Tin Tin, along with his four accomplices, had been charged with shooting at and wounding Lobo, the vice principal of Karachi’s Jinnah Medical and Dental College, on Shaheed-i-Millat Road in April 2015.

Read more: What does the attack on Debra Lobo mean?

According to the prosecution, Lobo was on her way to her residence located in the Defence Housing Authority when the attack took place. Although she survived the attack, Lobo suffered two bullet wounds on her hand and face.

During an identification parade conducted by a judicial magistrate on June 27, 2015, an eye-witness had rightly picked out the main accused, Saad Aziz, as the primary shooter.

The ATC-XVI judge, who is conducting the trial in the judicial complex inside the central prison, had reserved the verdict in the case after recording evidence and hearing final arguments from both sides.

However, the assistant prosecutor general has moved an application arguing that additional evidence is available which needs to be recorded and has pleaded the court to re-open the trial.

In May, the main suspect Saad Aziz had testified before the court, wherein he had denied his association with any militant outfit after police investigators claimed that he was inspired by the Islamic State (IS) and was associated with Al Qaeda.

He had further deposed that he did not even know Lobo before the incident, adding that plain-clothed personnel of law enforcement agencies had picked him up from his house on May 18, 2015.

The accused deposed that the law enforcers showed his arrest after a fake encounter in Gulshan-e-Maymar on May 20, 2015. He said an alleged witness, Javed, had identified him as one of the attackers during an identification parade before a judicial magistrate, adding that later Javed kept visiting the office of the Counter-Terrorism Department.

Read: Anatomy of a murder

The accused testified that the law enforcers had already shown his face to Javed, who even sat with him in the vehicle when he was being taken to the court for the identification parade.

A business graduate from a prestigious Karachi business school, Saad and his other accomplices were handed over to military authorities in January 2016 to face trial before military courts in 18 cases, including cases of the Safoora Goth bus carnage, murder of Sabeen Mahmud, killing of policemen, attempted murder and carrying explosive substances and illicit weapons.

The military court had sentenced Saad Aziz, Tahir Minhas, Asadur Rehman, Mohammad Azhar Ishrat and Hafiz Nasir Ahmed to death in May 2016 in these cases.

Later, the convicts were handed back to jail authorities to face trial in other cases pending before the antiterrorism courts.

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