Saturday, 21 May 2016

Tragedy of Criminal procedural at trial:Legal heirs eye witnesses seek protection and security

LAHORE: Legal heirs of Shahzad and Shama , a Christian couple burned alive for alleged desecrating of Quranic pages , for seeking protection and security filled application in the Anti-Terrorism Court II Lahore today during trial. 

According to contents of application the bereaved family eye witnesses were threatened by unknown motor cyclists at previous court hearing while they were waiting for their vehicle at the main gate of the court along with their leading counsel Sardar Mushtaq Gill,human rights defender, for leaving to their homes.The application also says that they were threatened and physically abused during cross-examination too about which the honorable court has already been informed and the prayer also added with request to ensure disposal of the case and the completion of the trial as quickly as possible.    

"The total number of nominated accused persons were 138 of which 106 ere arrested and latter three accused were got released on bail and some of whom the accused are still at large particularly from them the legal heirs eye witnesses are under constant life threats," said Sardar Mushtaq Gill who heads LEAD an organization provides free legal assistance in this case.

He further stated that the Supreme Court of Pakistan had already ordered for the eye witnesses protection and security which had not been implemented.The Court has summoned a TV anchor ,Fareeha Adrees,who conducted an interview of the victims family for local TV about which one of accused lawyer submitted an application to the court for considering the interview as documentary evidence. The case has been adjourned the hearing of the case till May 26.

Legal heirs eye witnesses abominate to reveal themselves to the high risk of giving incriminating material testimonies as either they or their families are deadly attacked, many times on the premises of the court as has been seen in previous religious mob violence cases the prosecution witnesses are often threatened by the groups standing trial or the powerful extremist religious groups that support them and the risk become double in the cases where some accused have been declared as absconders as happened in Shahzad and Shama murder case. 

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