Rangers deadline to engage defence lawyers ends today


Adjourning the hearing until Friday (today), an anti-terrorism court (ATC) gave the last chance on Thursday to the Rangers officers and a civilian allegedly involved in the extrajudicial murder of Sarfaraz Shah for appointing their lawyer, otherwise the trial court will appoint legal representatives on their behalf.
The alleged accused were produced before ATC-I Judge Bashir Ahmed Khoso but four of the seven accused appeared without hiring their defence lawyers. However, the judge told the suspects that if they are not able to arrange lawyers by the next hearing date, then the government will bear the expenses of hiring their lawyers. One of the defence counsels pleaded the court to adjourn the hearing for seven days on this pretext but the court rejected the request and called for the proceedings on Friday.
Rangers Sub-Inspector Bahaur Rehman, Lance Naik Liaquat Ali, constables Mohammad Tariq, Minthar Ali, Shahid Zafar, Mohammad Afzal and private contractor Afsar Khan are facing charges of murdering 22-year-old Sarfaraz Shah on June 8. According to the prosecution, the deceased was killed extra-judicially by paramilitary force personnel in a public park after being handed over to them by the private contractor, accusing him of robbery.
The prosecution has named 46 witnesses, including two eyewitnesses, in the charge sheet in addition to a list of 14 articles, including the crime weapon, to prove the guilt of the suspects.