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Peshawar High court upholds conviction of terrorist by military court

Peshawar High court upholds conviction of terrorist by military court

PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Tuesday upheld the conviction of a terrorist and award of death sentence to it by a military court.

While announcing the verdict in the case, Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Qaisar Rasheed observed that the court had earlier dismissed several petitions of the similar nature.

Petitioner Mohammad Ayaz claimed that his family was from Mohmand Agency and that his brother Mohammad Imran was a missing person.

He claimed that his brother was taken into custody by the security forces in 2008 and that on Jan 2 this year, the family learned through newspapers that he was sentenced to death by a military court.

On Jan 1, the ISPR, media wing of the Pakistan Army, had announced that the chief of the army staff had confirmed death sentences awarded to nine hardcore terrorists by the military courts.

About the convict Mohammad Imran son of Abdul Manan, the ISPR had stated: “The convict was an active member of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan. He was involved in terrorist acts and attacking Law Enforcement Agencies which caused death / injuries to civilians and soldiers. He admitted his offences before the Magistrate and the trial court. He was tried on four charges and awarded death sentence.”

The present petitioner had requested the court to declare the proceedings of the military court, if any, on the basis of which his brother had been convicted and sentenced to death may be declared void, illegal and without lawful authority.

Lawyer for the petitioner Arif Jan argued that the high court had earlier dismissed two writ petitions of military courts convicts on Oct 14 and subsequently four other such like petitions were dismissed on Dec 9.

He said the high court had already given its opinion on the trials conducted by the military courts.

The lawyer said in light of the earlier judgments, the petition should be disposed of so that the petitioner could move the Supreme Court.

When the bench asked about the status of appeals filed with the Supreme Court, the counsel said initially a bench had suspended the death sentences awarded to two of the convicts and had referred the cases to the Chief Justice of Pakistan for constituting a larger bench for these cases. He added that it would be appropriate to dispose of the petition so that the petitioner could file an appeal and her case may also be clubbed with other appeals in the Supreme Court.

Convict Mohammad Imran is currently kept at Timergara district prison.

His brother had also requested the court for permission to meet the convict there.

He had also requested that the respondents including secretaries of defense and interior may be directed to produce record of the case of his detained brother as the concerned authorities had not been even handing them over the judgment of the so-called trial court.

The petitioner had claimed that the detainee had studied up to intermediate level at Islamia College Peshawar and subsequently he studied at Jamia Binoria in Karachi for four years.

He claimed that his family members were the permanent residents of Mohmand Agency and currently lived in Mardan district.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2016

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