PESHAWAR: The Federally Administered Tribal Areas Tribunal on Wednesday adjourned to July 27 the hearing into Dr Shakil Afridi’s petition against the upholding of his conviction by an appellate forum for having links with militant outfits.
The hearing into the case had assumed importance over rumours about the possible shifting of Dr Shakil, who is suspected of helping the US CIA track down Al-Qaeda Chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, by Islamabad to Washington as part of a deal.
Qamar Nadeem, lawyer for Dr Shakil, informed the tribunal that the lead counsel in the case, Lateef Afridi, was unavailable for the hearing due to his hectic schedule at the Supreme Court and therefore, the case should be adjourned.
The tribunal, which is the third and final judicial forum available under the Frontier Crimes Regulation and consists of chairman Sange Marjan Khan and members Hussainzada Khan and Atif Nazir, adjourned the hearing observing that it will hear arguments on the next hearing.
On Mar 15, 2014, the FCR Commissioner, which is the appellate forum under the FCR, had upheld the conviction of Dr Shakil for being linked to a banned militant organisation of Bara tehsil in Khyber Agency but reduced his prison term slapped by the assistant political agent’s court from 33 years to 23 years and the amount of fine from Rs320,000 to Rs220,000.
Through the revision petition, Dr Shakil has challenged the decision of the commissioner.
The tribunal also adjourned the hearing into a petition filed by the administration of Khyber Agency against the reduction of the sentence.
The assistant political agent, who is also the additional district magistrate of Bara, convicted Dr Shakil on May 23, 2012, for involvement in anti-state activities by supporting the Bara-based Lashkar-i-Islam, and sentenced him on different counts to a total of 33 years’ imprisonment with a fine of Rs320,000.
Meanwhile, senior lawyer Mohammad Khursheed Khan on Wednesday filed a petition seeking directions of the Peshawar High Court for the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments not to send Dr Shakil abroad until the final disposal of the petition.
He prayed the court to rule that if Dr Shakil had to be sent abroad, the permission of the high court should be secured for the purpose.
Courtesy: Dawn News