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Altaf Hussain Acquitted Of Inciting Workers To Terrorism BBC London

 Posted on: 2/15/2022
  • Rafaqat Ali
  • BBC, London
Altaf Hussain


, Photo caption

Altaf Hussain shakes hands with supporters at Kingston Crown Court in London on January 31, 2022

A 12-member jury in London's Kingston Crown Court has acquitted UK-based MQM leader Altaf Hussain of charges of inciting his workers to terrorism in Karachi.

A 12-member jury, after nine hours of deliberation, found Altaf Hussain guilty of both charges in a majority decision. When the jury failed to reach a consensus, the court ordered a majority decision.

The Crown Prosecution had registered a case against Altaf Hussain under Section 1 (2) of the Terrorism Act 2006.

Altaf Hussain was accused of inciting his party workers to violence in two separate speeches by telephone from London on August 22, 2016.

Altaf Hussain was accused of allegedly chanting anti-Pakistan slogans in his speech and inciting his supporters to attack the ARY, Geo and Sama offices in addition to the Karachi Rangers headquarters.

Altaf Hussain pleaded not guilty and was present in court at the trial.

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Altaf Hussain's lawyer had told the court at the beginning of the trial that his client would testify in court but later changed his mind.

The prosecution had told the jury that on the evening of August 22, 2016, Altaf Hussain raised the slogan 'Pakistan Marda Bada' in a speech lasting one hour and forty minutes and his supporters followed Altaf Hussain and repeated the same words. Were

The prosecution had told the jury that the accused was sitting in a safe environment in the UK and was instructing his workers in Pakistan to take steps that would incite terrorism under British law.

Altaf Hussain's lawyer had told the jury that "my client is not a terrorist and his speeches of August 22, 2016 should be seen as 'irrelevant words' of a frustrated person."

Defense counsel said that Altaf Hussain was under stress due to the Lahore High Court's ban on broadcasting his speeches.

Altaf Hussain's lawyer had argued before the jury that the jury should take into account the situation in Pakistan.

He said the allegations against his client should not be weighed against British standards as the situation in Pakistan and the UK, culture, politics and attitudes of state elements are different.

Defence attorneys said Pakistani state elements have been accused of torturing, disappearing and extrajudicially killing civilians.

The defence lawyer said that Altaf Hussain's speeches on August 22, 2016 reflected his "frustration and emotionality" and that he was trying to evict people from their homes for their rights.

Defence counsel said that Altaf Hussain's talk of raiding the Rangers headquarters with 500,000 people and parading the Rangers chief on a donkey in the city was nothing more than 'passionate rhetoric'.

The defence lawyer said that when Altaf Hussain addressed his supporters in Karachi on August 22, 2016, he was the head of MQM, the third largest political party in Pakistan.

The defence lawyer said that his clients were merely raising their voices against the barbarism of
state institutions in Karachi.

12/8/2023 8:36:35 AM