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Altaf Hussain acquitted in ‘encouraging terrorism’ case in London Tribune

Altaf Hussain acquitted in ‘encouraging terrorism’ case in London Tribune
 Posted on: 2/15/2022

Altaf Hussain acquitted in ‘encouraging terrorism’ case in London

Jury at Kingston-upon-Thames crown court announces majority verdict of 10-2 in MQM founder’s favour

News DeskFebruary 15, 2022
File photo of MQM Chief Altaf Hussain. PHOTO: APP/FILE

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain has been acquitted by the jury in a London court over charges of encouraging terrorism in Karachi, Express News reported on Tuesday.

The MQM founder was facing two counts of charges related to encouraging terrorism, while delivering two speeches from London via telephone on August 22, 2016. During the trail, Hussain’s lawyer informed the court that his client would not take the stand.

The jury at the Kingston-upon-Thames crown court announced a majority verdict of 10-2 in MQM founder’s favour on the third day of deliberations. They declared that they found Hussain not to be in violation of the UK’s anti-Terrorism laws on 22nd August 2016 when he made two speeches from London to his followers in Karachi.

The arguments in the case concluded on Friday last week, after which the jury retired for delibrations, according to media reports. The judge, Justice May, told the jury that they might conclude that Hussain did not have an answer to the prosecution’s case, but the jurors could not convict him just for his silence.

Also read: Verdict in Altaf Hussain’s case in London likely next week

Justice May told the jury that prosecution had to prove guilt. She also said that the prosecution did not have to prove that acts of terrorism actually occurred, though it was their submission, adding that the meaning of intention and reckless was for the jury to determine.

During the trial, the prosecution argued that Hussain did not “answer, apologise, explain” his innocence or give answers to obvious questions. The defence counsel, however, said Hussain did not have more to add. The counsel also said that Hussain’s apology on Twitter after the speeches demonstrated his regret.

The MQM founder, who is also wanted by the Pakistani authorities in number of cases, had delivered the fiery speech via telephone to a party gathering outside the Karachi Press Club on August 22, 2016 after which party workers chanted anti-Pakistan slogans and vandalised a media office nearby.

Also read: Altaf Hussain goes on trial in London for 2016 hate speech

The Scotland Yard had previously charged Hussain with terrorism offences in October 2019. It claimed that the speech encouraged the incitement of violence and disorder.

Hussain was arrested on June 11, 2019, under the pretense of having violated Section 44 of the Serious Crimes Act 2007. He was later released on bail.

The MQM founder has lived in self-imposed exile in London for more than two decades. He requested asylum in the 1990s and later gained UK citizenship. The Pakistani authorities have repeatedly demanded action be taken against him for inciting people in Pakistan to violence.


7/23/2024 8:32:25 AM