Accused in Priyantha Kumara murder calls for trial to be set aside

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A prime accused in the murder of Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara today (29) filed a writ petition in the Lahore High Court calling for the trial proceedings to be set aside, The Express Tribune reports.

Suspect Tamoor Ahmad questioned the trial proceedings and requested that the LHC omit Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATC) 1997, claiming it did not apply as the crime was “purely a matter of personal enmity”.

His petition also wants the charges which had been framed in light of Section 7 of the ATC to be amended, with new charges framed.

Lawyer for the Ahmed argued the trial court injudiciously framed charges on the accused despite a lack of recorded evidence.

“After framing charges, the trial court recorded the testimonies of all witnesses in the absence of the accused’s counsels,” he charged.

The opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses was not granted – which impedes the right to a fair trial, according to the petitioner.

The lawyer also informed the court that Adnan Malik, a witness, instigated the Rajko Factory workers, stating that the violence was not a matter of terrorism but personal enmity for the post of general manager amongst Kumara and Malik.

“Now, Adnan Malik is performing his services as GM of the factory, this makes the story of prosecution doubtful. It is crystal clear that when there is no sense of insecurity and a matter of private enmity then section 7 ATA is not attracted”.

As many as 40 witnesses have so far recorded their statements before an anti-terrorism court hearing the case at the Kot Lakhpat prison.

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