Saulat Mirza seeks Deferment in Execution against New JIT
KARACHI: Saulat Mirza, a death row prisoner, on Thursday moved another application seeking deferment of execution, as the joint investigation team (JIT) arrived at the conclusion that his disclosures did not constitute any ‘actionable intelligence or cogent evidence’ that could help the judicial process.
Informed sources told Media that the SHC received the application from his counsel through a courier service and it was likely to be placed before SHC Chief Justice Faisal Arab for order on Saturday.
Mirza was sentenced to death by an antiterrorism court for his involvement in the killing of the then Karachi Electric Supply Corporation managing director Shahid Hamid in 1997 and was scheduled to be hanged in March 2015. But hours before his hanging, he levelled serious allegations against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, its chief and the Sindh governor in a video aired on almost all news channels.
Subsequently, the president postponed his hanging and the Sindh government set up a JIT to investigate the allegations.
A source privy to findings of the JIT report, which has been reportedly submitted to the home department, told media on Thursday on condition of anonymity that the JIT was of the considered view that Mirza’s disclosures would not ‘help in either way’.
“The JIT has indirectly recommended the authorities that there is no need to postpone the hanging as his information or supposed startling disclosures are not going to help the judicial process,” the source said.
He added that Mirza had nothing to prove that MQM leader Babar Ghauri ‘facilitated’ the murder of the then MD KESC.
Referring to reports that Mirza had been ‘facilitated’ in jail, the JIT also suggested to the authorities that it was not advisable to provide such facilities to prisoners, the source said.
“Barring these two recommendations, the JIT report does not carry much disclosures,” he added.
However, a source privy to the interview with Mirza in the Machh jail said that for JIT members it was “surprising” to note “level of the confidence which he enjoyed, his understanding of the Karachi issues and solution of these problems”.
“He was indeed frank and very confident as he did not give any impression of being upset,” said the source.
It appeared to be a “comprehensive talk” in which Mirza also talked about the issues being faced by Karachi and what should be its solution in his view. “Some of his observations may be good,” said the source.
The source quoted him as having told the JIT members that Karachi needed an “alternative leadership, which should be local and acceptable to the citizens”. The JIT was further told that the people were being “brain-washed” by the MQM at an impressionable age through lectures and those who tended to deliver lectures also sometimes become emotional by breaking into tears.
Overall, in view of some JIT members, Mirza gave the impression of a “desperate” man who could do anything to get his sentence reprieved, the source believed.
Meanwhile, the SHC received the application seeking deferment of Mirza’s hanging a day after the SHC member inspection team had turned down an identical application, advising his counsel to seek legal remedy under the law.
In his fresh application, the condemned prisoner also cited the MIT-II and an assistant registrar as respondents for not placing his three previous applications before the chief justice.
The applicant also impleaded the Machh jail superintendent, Balochistan and Sindh home secretaries, Sindh law minister, Sindh police chief, and an antiterrorism court, as respondents, asking the court to direct them not to execute him till the disposal of his applications before the SHC.
In one of his applications, the convict had urged the court to order police to include in the Shahid Hamid murder case the accused persons he had named in his latest statement.
The convict also informed the SHC that some people in South Africa were giving threats to his wife and other family members whose life was in danger, said the sources.
The sources said that the death row prisoner asked the court to order recording of his statement before a judicial magistrate so that a fresh charge-sheet in the Shahid Hamid murder case could be submitted in the trial court against the accused persons he had mentioned in his statement.
They added that Mirza also stated in his application that his wife knew the names of those who extended threats of dire consequences. He requested the court to direct the law-enforcers to immediately arrest those giving the threats.
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