UK Police to start interviewing witnesses in Altaf Hussain case | Pakistan Today

UK Police to start interviewing witnesses in Altaf Hussain case

ISLAMABAD: A team of United Kingdom (UK) Police, which is currently in Islamabad, is scheduled to start interviews of witnesses in Altaf Hussain speech case on Monday. The witnesses, including Sindh Police employees, have been called in the capital by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

As per a letter of FIA’s Counter Terrorism Wing dated April 3, a team of Counter Terrorism Command, Metropolitan Police, UK, is conducting an investigation into the alleged hate speech made by Altaf Hussain.

Comments made by Altaf Hussain on August 22, 2016, allegedly led to the crowd dispersing and attacking media outlets in the near vicinity, which resulted in further violence, including assault on police officers and burning of vehicles.

The FIA in its said letter to Sindh Police Inspector General (IG) has also sought assistance as UK Police is visiting Pakistan to retrieve evidence from witnesses in the form of written testimonies. This evidence will then be used to present a case to the Crown Prosecution Service to ascertain whether there is sufficient material to progress a prosecution in the UK courts, said the FIA’s letter.

According to the letter, the witnesses include several police officers and constables of Sindh police.

It is also learnt from the letter that FIA has further sought certified copies of CCTV and video footage of the events occurred on 22nd August 2016, along with exhibiting statements “which attest to the origin and chain of custody/continuity of the exhibits from the persons responsible for collecting, and copies of all scenes photography and their exhibits and statements of witnesses who took those photographs.”

Moreover, other relevant materials gathered in the course of the investigation conducted in Pakistan in relation to the event of 22nd August 2016 have also been sought. These include witness statements taken during the course of the investigation, transcripts or recordings of police interviews with accused persons, medical note, and photographs of injuries and original notes made by witnessing officers.

The Sindh Police officers have been asked to bring with them any record, notes, statements, exhibits, medical notes, photographs, or documents or indeed material of any kind.

Sources said that the interviews of witnesses will hopefully determine either the speech of MQM leader was based on hate.

The UK Police arrived in Islamabad on Saturday on the request of the Ministry of Interior to record statements of eye-witnesses in inflammatory speech case against MQM founder Altaf Hussain. They have also sought the records of filed FIR against MQM founder Altaf Hussain and the video recording of his inflammatory speech.

On 22nd August 2018, the MQM founder delivered an ‘anti-Pakistan speech’ during his address at Karachi Press Club. Numerous party workers stormed media houses and created chaos, driven by the founder’s ‘hate-speech’. Later, several cases were launched against the party founder Altaf Hussain.

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