0 10 min 1 yr

2022-02-15 21:49:00

MQM supremo Altaf Hussain celebrates together with his colleagues outdoors the court docket in London on February 15, 2022. — Murtaza Ali Shah
  • A majority of the jury (10 out of 12) declared Altaf Hussain not to be in violation of the UK’s Anti-Terrorism legal guidelines on twenty second August 2016.
  • Altaf Hussain had been charged with two counts of encouraging terrorism opposite to part 1(2) of the Terrorism Act 2006.
  • Following verdict, social gathering members celebrated outdoors court docket.

LONDON: The Muttahida Qaumi Motion (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has been found not guilty of encouraging terrorism in Karachi from London opposite to part 1(2) of the Terrorism Act 2006.

On the Kingston Crown Court docket, a majority of the jury (10 out of 12) declared earlier than Mrs Justice Could that they’d found Altaf Hussain not to be in violation of the UK’s Anti-Terrorism legal guidelines on twenty second August 2016 when he made two speeches from London to his followers in Karachi.

Altaf Hussain had been charged with two counts of encouraging terrorism opposite to part 1(2) of the Terrorism Act 2006. 

These relate to 2 speeches Hussain made on 22n August – first in the morning UK Time and second in the afternoon UK Time – in which he had been alleged by the Crown to have revealed speeches to crowds “gathered in Karachi, Pakistan the contents of which were likely to be understood by some or all of the members of the public to whom they were published as a direct or indirect encouragement to them to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism and, at the time he published them, intended them to be so encouraged, or was reckless as to whether they would be so encouraged”.

The CPS had alleged that Altaf Hussain had requested his followers to assault the workplaces of Geo, ARY and Samaa and shut down the transmission of Geo and different channels for not publishing his footage, movies and statements after being banned by the Lahore Excessive Court docket. 

Geo and Jang newspaper’s identify got here up in the proceedings repeatedly as Altaf Hussain talked about in his speeches that Geo and different channels ought to be questioned and held accountable for not airing his speeches.

The prosecution had alleged that Altaf Hussain urged violence in his morning speech and requested his followers to convey out DG Rangers Bilal Akbar from the Rangers HQ and likewise requested his followers to be ready for violent acts. 

The prosecution mentioned that the precise violence occurred when Hussain made speech in the afternoon to the starvation strike camp of his social gathering set outdoors the Karachi Press Membership from the place the MQM followers marched in direction of workplaces of tv channels and violence occurred outdoors ARY’s workplace the place one MQM employee died, a number of individuals had been injured and car had been placed on hearth.

The prosecution offered Brighton College instructor Dr Nichola Khan as its fundamental skilled witness on Karachi and MQM’s politics. She instructed the court docket that MQM was a sufferer of the state violence and there was little doubt that Altaf Hussain’s followers had been killed, kidnapped, disappeared and tortured and that the legislation enforcement businesses operated with impunity and had been concerned in human rights violations. 

She additionally instructed the court docket that in flip the MQM was additionally concerned in violence and maintained a militant wing that was by no means publicly owned and accepted by the social gathering management.

After the prosecution case was over, the MQM chief determined not to face in the witness field for cross-examination by the prosecution. The prosecution instructed the jury that Altaf Hussain did not “answer, apologise, explain” his innocence or give solutions to apparent questions as a result of he doesn’t “doesn’t have an answer”.

Altaf Hussain’s lawyer Rupert Bowers QC had instructed the jury that it didn’t make sense that Altaf would stand in the dock over occasions which occurred six years in the past. He careworn to the jury that Altaf didn’t have something to cover from the jury and the truth that he apologised on Twitter after his two speeches clearly demonstrated his remorse about what occurred following his speeches. He careworn, nonetheless, that Altaf Hussain’s apology ought to not be construed as an admission of guilt or wrongdoing.

This was the identical stance Altaf Hussain adopted when he was interviewed by the police in 2019 when arrested earlier than being chared. He had instructed the police that he did nothing unsuitable and stood by the phrases of his speech.

Mrs Justice Could had given instructions to the jury that whereas convicting Mr Hussain, the jury must be utterly happy that Hussain revealed a speech, that his statements had been more likely to be understood by an inexpensive individual listening to them of encouraging terrorism and that Mr Hussain both meant or was reckless as as to whether members of the general public can be inspired to commit acts of violence after listening to these broadcast speeches.

The decide had directed that the prosecution does not need to show that terrorist acts really occurred. The decide directed that when contemplating the act of terrorism, the jury should contemplate the sort of act, its design and function. To convict, the jury should be persuaded that the act was finished to additional a spiritual, political, ideological or racial trigger, regardless of whether or not the trigger was justified or not.

The prosecution’s case was that what Altaf Hussain requested of his MQM followers had been acts of terrorism, designed to affect the federal government, and that they had been finished for a political goal and for that Mr Hussain inspired violence and that the “whole tone, content and method used” in his speeches “was designed to get the crowd to do something”.

The defence lawyer Rupert Bowers QC had instructed Kingston Crown Court docket that Mr Hussain is not a terrorist and may not be convicted of two counts of encouraging terrorism.

The QC had mentioned the jury has been requested by the prosecution not to measure Altaf’s case in opposition to cultural yardstick of Pakistan however the yardstick of the legislation of England and Wales is not similar because the yardstick applies in Pakistani context.

He requested the jury to think about what qualifies as terrorism and it’s the kind of act, design behind the act and function of the act. He mentioned the jury ought to not discover Altaf Hussain guilty if they’re not positive that he inspired acts of violence in opposition to individuals and properties and he’ll not be guilty if it falls brief of “serious violence to persons/property”.

Rupert Bowers QC mentioned it was the prosecution’s witness Dr Nichola Khan who instructed the court docket in regards to the “endemic violence that exists in Pakistan, in Karachi” and that’s why the jury ought to, whereas making use of the legislation to the precise details of this case, ought to contemplate “what Hussain understood or intended, and what people understood”.

Rupert Bowers QC mentioned the MQM has confronted violence in Karachi, all through and main as much as the twenty second of August 2016 and there was one other push by the state in opposition to MQM and its followers and a ban was positioned on Altaf Hussain. He instructed the jury {that a} ban of that sort can be inconceivable in the UK on any chief, as occurred in the case of Altaf Hussain and this was confirmed by the prosecution skilled witness.

He mentioned that exaggeration occurs in Pakistani political context and he knew that he can not tackle the Pakistan Military and didn’t even know if Bilal Akbar was contained in the Rangers HQ or not.

Rupert Bowers QC had requested the jury not to convict Altaf Hussain as a result of he “did nothing other than that he has always done in trying to represent an oppressed part of a population by organising what is axiomatically a peaceful protest”.

Altaf Hussain’s lawyer had concluded: “If violence ensued in the latter part of that day, you’ve seen it, he’s regretful of that. In my submission to you, he’s not a terrorist, and I ask you to acquit.”

The jury determined not to convict Altaf Hussain who arrived in the UK round three a long time in the past. He has by no means returned to Pakistan ever since however successfully managed the most important metropolis of Pakistan till August 2016 when his social gathering cut up over the identical speech for which he has been convicted now. His supporters are not allowed to publicly perform their actions in Karachi however, in keeping with intelligence sources, his smooth help stays in the town, amongst a big part of the Muhajir communities.

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