Waseem Akhtar, others handed amended indictment in May 12 violence case


KARACHI:  An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Saturday handed down an amendment indictment to Karachi mayor Waseem Akhtar and 20 others in 12 May 2007 violence case.

An amended charge-sheet was presented before the court by police framing new charges against the accused persons. Waseem Akhtar also appeared during the case hearing today.

However, mayor Karachi, Umair Siddiqui and other people nominated in the case denied charges before the court.

The ATC also indicted other absconding persons in the case including Abdul Zahid and issued their arrest warrants. Zahid had already filed a bail plea before the anti-terrorism court.

His lawyer had also furnished arguments to seek the release of his client.

During the last hearing of the case on Jan 19, an anti-terrorism court had expressed displeasure over Karachi mayor Waseem Akhtar for failing to appear before it in four cases pertaining to the May 12, 2007 mayhem.

When the judge asked about the whereabouts of the mayor, his counsel submitted an application requesting an exemption for his client from the day’s proceedings. He stated that his client couldn’t turn up owing to his ill health.

“What did happen to the Karachi mayor?” questioned the judge who then directed the counsel to present his medical report on the next hearing.

On May 12, 2007, at least 50 people were killed and over 100 wounded in attacks on rallies of different political parties and the legal fraternity, who had attempted to receive the then-deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry at the Karachi airport ahead of a lawyers’ gathering.

Justice Chaudhry was forced to fly back to Islamabad after nine hours of being restricted to the airport.