KARACHI  -  An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Friday recorded statement of investigation officer (IO) in a case of allegedly recovery of weapons and explosives from Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) headquarters Nine Zero, and adjourned hearing till November 5.

The ATC conducted hearing in the judicial complex in Karachi Central Prison, wherein Faisal Mehmood alias Mota, Ubaid K2 and other suspects appeared before the court, IO of the case has submitted his statement in the court, and also provided a report regarding the weapons allegedly recovered from the MQM headquarter. The court adjourned the hearing after recording the statement.

In last hearing, the court had expressed its annoyance over the absence of the IO and issued a show cause notice, ordering him to tender an explanation. According to the prosecution, the paramilitary force had arrested MQM senior leader Amir Khan and 26 other armed suspects, including Faisal Mehmood alias Mota who was sentenced to death in absentia in the journalist Wali Babar murder case, during a pre-dawn raid on March 11, 2015.

Earlier, the defence counsels had argued that Rangers’ officers had held a press conference in the Khursheed Begum Hall wherein they claimed the alleged recovery of explosives and illegal weapons.

They added that the press conference was televised by private television channels and requested that the recording of the same may also be played in the open court in the presence of the two prosecution witnesses, both Rangers’ officials, as the same was admissible evidence and permissible under Article 131, 140 and 164 of the Qanun-i-Shahadat read with Section 27-B of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

The defence lawyers had contended that the suspects were arrested from their homes and no weapons or explosives, as claimed by the Rangers, were recovered from their possession, therefore, around a dozen cases registered against them under Section 23-1(a) of the Sindh Arms Act, 2013, were false.

On the other hand, the Rangers prosecutor argued that the CD in question could not be displayed in the open court at the present stage of trial, adding that the defence counsel should have sought such permission earlier.