Imran khan’s nephew handed over to military for trial, LHC told

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Imran khan’s nephew handed over to military for trial, LHC told
Lahore: PTI leader Hassaan Khan Niazi, party chairman Imran Khan’s nephew, has been handed over to the military for trial over his alleged involvement in the May 9 vandalism at Lahore’s Jinnah House, the Lahore High Court (LHC) was told on Friday.

Earlier this week, it was reported in the media that Niazi, who had been in hiding since the protests of May 9 and 10, was arrested by the police from Abbottabad on August 13.

Following the reports, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) had sought details from the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments about his arrest, fixing August 18 (today) as the day for the hearing.

The PTI leader’s counsels had also informed the PHC that their client’s whereabouts were unknown since his arrest.

Simultaneously, a Lahore anti-terrorism court (ATC) had directed the Race Course police to declare Niazi a proclaimed offender in a case of torching police vehicles outside Zaman Park, while suspending proceedings for same in the Jinnah House case after his arrest had been made.

On August 15 (Tuesday), Niazi’s father, Hafeezullah Khan Niazi, filed a petition in the LHC seeking recovery of his son, which is being heard today.

On August 17, a military official wrote a letter to the police, requesting it to hand over Niazi’s custody to the military for “trial by the court martial”.

The said letter, which Dawn.com has seen, was written by a battalion’s commanding officer to Sarwar Road In-charge Investigation Muhammad Sarwar.

The letter stated that Niazi, who “was involved in commission of offences in the incident of May 9, 2023 at Jinnah House, Lahore Cantonment, is in police custody”.

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It further said that it had been “revealed to military authorities through initial investigation” that Niazi had been “found involved in commission of offences attracting the provisions of Official Secrets Act 1923 read with section 2(1)(d) (persons subject to the Act) and 59(4) (civil offences) of the Pakistan Army Act 1952, which are offences/charges triable in the domain of ‘court martial’ under the Pakistan Army Act 1952”.

Therefore, it added, the “suspect […] is liable to be inquired, investigated and tried by military authorities by court martial”.

It then proceeded to request the Sarwar Road police that the “custody of the accused be delivered to military authorities in accordance with Section 549(3) (delivery to military authorities of persons liable to be tried by court martial) of the [Code of Criminal Procedure] for inquiry, investigation to the extent of charges under the provisions of Official Secrets Act 1923, and subsequent trial by the court martial under the Pakistan Army Act 1952”.

Today, before the LHC began hearing Niazi’s father’s plea, the police submitted a report in the court, detailing the offences in which the former was found to be allegedly involved.

The report was submitted by Punjab Additional Advocate General (AAG) Ghulam Sarwar while Justice Sultan Tanveer presided over the hearing.

During today’s hearing, the AAG informed the LHC, “Hassaan Niazi has been handed over to the military”. He added that Niazi was “named in the Jinnah House attack case and was a main suspect”.

The court directed the AAG to “ask the relevant authorities if a meeting between the father and son could be held”.

The court granted the state prosecutor time to let Niazi’s father meet his son and adjourned the hearing till 2pm later today upon the petitioner’s request.

The police report submitted to the LHC recalled that Niazi had been declared a proclaimed offender in a terror case filed against him by the Sarwar Road police.

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