The Frontier Crimes Regulation Commissioner Munir Azam has directed the political agent of Khyber Agency to further gather evidence in consultation with concerned intelligence agencies and prepare a case against Dr. Shakeel Afridi to be filed in a competent court of law.
The political agent has been directed to examine Dr. Afridi’s involvement in activities against the state in collaboration with foreign intelligence agencies. In a detailed order, Mr. Azam said there was ample evidence collected by the Joint Interrogation Team against Dr. Afridi regarding his involvement in activities against the state.
He said the trial court did not take up this, citing reasons of want of jurisdiction.
Dr. Afridi’s lawyer Samiullah Afridi told The Hindu on the phone from Peshawar that the order was made available only on Friday. Last week, Mr. Azam had reduced Dr. Afridi’s 33- year sentence by ten years and also his Rs 3.2 lakh fine by Rs one lakh on a technicality.
Dr. Afridi, convicted for his links with a banned terror group, Lashkar-i-Islam, in 2012, was suspected of helping the CIA track down Osama Bin Laden in Abbotabad under cover as part of a polio immunisation programme in 2011.
The lawyer said that his demand for a re-trial was not considered at all, adding that there is no time frame set for the preparation of fresh charges. Mr. Azam has ruled out a re- trial saying the remedy lies in appeal. . Though arrested for helping the CIA, he was charged with links with a banned terrorist organisation Lashkar-i-Islam and convicted for 33 years initially.
Earlier, in his plea to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) tribunal, Dr. Afridi had demanded the setting aside of the sentence and a retrial. But, he said, instead of reviewing the case and passing an order on re- trial, the commissioner reduced the sentence and the fine. He added that a fresh plea for a re-trial would be presented to the FATA tribunal.
On August 29, 2013 the Frontier Crimes Regulation commissioner in Peshawar, Sahebzada Anees ur Rehman, who later died in a mysterious fire in Islamabad in October, had set aside the trial and sentencing of Dr. Afridi.
Ample evidence collected regarding Afridi’s involvement in anti-state activities