Court wraps up Khwajas trial
LAHORE: A special anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Monday concluded the trial of Dr Ahmed Javed Khwaja and his brother Ahmad Nadeem Khawaja charged with harbouring senior Al Qaeda operatives.
“The defence and prosecution completed their final arguments and Judge Maqbool Bajwa adjourned the case until May 26 when he will announce the verdict,” defence lawyer Pervez Inayat Malik told AFP.
Dr Khawaja and his brother are accused of hiding in their home at least four North African Al Qaeda figures, listed as business directors of Osama Bin Laden’s terror network.
The pair has been charged under the 1952 Security of Pakistan Act, which carries a penalty of 14 years jail.
They were arrested in a pre-dawn raid on their home in Lahore on December 19. They have been on trial since March 7.
Appearing before the special ATC Monday, the brothers ‘categorically denied’ links to Al Qaeda, Malik said.
Khawaja’s two American-Pakistani sons and his Canadian-Pakistani nephew were also arrested in the raid, but were released early March on the grounds of insufficient evidence.
Malik alleged the case against his clients was registered by the Pakistani police ‘under the direction of the FBI (US Federal Bureau of Intelligence)’.
Public prosecutor Rana Bakhtiar told the court that the defendants were involved in anti-state activities. Police last month formally charged the pair with attempted murder and possession of illegal weapons for allegedly firing on officers during the raid. The trial was conducted in a makeshift court inside Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail for extra security. —AFP