Kashmiri convicted in Musharraf plot will appeal
MUZZAFARABAD: A Kashmiri condemned to death for involvement in an Al Qaeda inspired assassination attempt on President Pervez Musharraf will seek to appeal his conviction, his lawyer said on Monday.
Akhlaq Akhlas Ahmed, 24, was one of five men convicted and sentenced to hang for their role in the second of two attempts on the president’s life in December 2003.
The military released news of the convictions last Friday after the five - one trooper and four civilians - were found guilty by a military court in Attock Fort.
Ahmed, who was born in Russia and holds a Russian passport, was charged with spreading sedition and treason among army personnel, but his lawyer Khalid Mehmood said the prosecution failed to establish its case.
Mehmood said army personnel brought as prosecution witnesses denied that Ahmed had helped recruit them for Islamist militant groups. “We have heard this court judgment through media and newspaper,” the lawyer said.
“The decision was not announced in our presence. The court has also not provided us a copy of its judgment.”
“We are trying to get a copy of the judgment so we can file an appeal in a higher military court.”
Ahmed’s father Akhlaq Ahmed, a doctor from the town of Rawalakote in Azad Kashmir, vowed to fight for justice for his son. Doctor Ahmed said that the first and last time he saw his son after he disappeared in 2003 was in the military court in July, where he was summoned to record his statement. “I saw him handcuffed, chained and hooded when he was brought into the court room guarded by Pakistan Army soldiers,” he said.
President Musharraf will decide whether to accept any application for an appeal. reuters