HARIPUR – Director Prosecutor, Zafar Abbas, withdrew from the prosecution team in Mashal Khan murder case on Monday. He was allegedly receiving threats from the families of the alleged murderers.
Zafar Abbas was leading the team, which was prosecuting 57 accused in an anti-terrorism court inside the Haripur jail. The top prosecutor submitted an application for quitting the team with ATC judge Fazal-e-Subhan, the application was approved on Monday – two days before the 10th hearing of the case on Wednesday. His withdrawal from the case is allegedly credited to pressure by accused.
Director prosecutor Zafar Abbas has been withdrew from #MashalKhan case in pretext of recieving threats from the relatives of the culprits.
— Sabbirr Shah Hoti (@sabirshahhoti84) October 24, 2017
The desertion of Zafar Abbas, isn’t the only twist in the case. Earlier, when the hearing of Mashal’s case was started in Mardan, the petitioner Iqbal Khan and provincial government requested the court to move the case from Mardan, for fear of law and order situation that might prevail in Mardan. Iqbal Khan, father of deceased and petitioner in the case, told media about the pressure he was facing from the families of the accused.
During the hearing of case, a key witness, Sayab Khan, backtracked from his statement, on 18th October, 2017. Sayab Khan was one of the four key witnesses, who were to appear before the ATC court. According to Fazal Khan, member of prosecution team and father of the victim, Sayab retracted the statement because of the immense pressure being exerted on him.
Mashal Khan, a journalism student at Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan, was lynched on 13th April by a violent mob. The victim was accused of committing blasphemy. However, the investigation report submitted by JIT consisting of 13 members found no such offense. According to JIT’s report the murder was pre-planned.