Intelligence agencies deny holding 11 missing prisoners

November 25, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Intelligence agencies have submitted a report to the Supreme Court denying that they are holding the 11 missing prisoners .

Relatives of the prisoners say the men are being illegally held by intelligence agencies.

The court was hearing the case of the 11 prisoners who went missing from the Adiala jail after being acquitted of the charges of four terrorism cases in June.

After this controversy, the Chief Justice (CJ) called for a Daily Situation Report which is prepared by a special branch of police. The police had reported that these prisoners were wanted in four cases: the General Head Quarters attack, the attack on former president Musharraf, the recovery of an explosive laden jacket and the attack on Hamza camp. The prisoners were acquitted by a trial court. The report also corroborates the Punjab government’s statement that the prisoners were released and handed over to intelligence agencies. A review board of the Lahore High Court had found the extension of that detention to be illegal.

According to Express 24/7 correspondent Faisal Shakeel, relatives of these missing prisoners say that they were taken from inside the premises of the jail and are with intelligence agencies but the intelligence agencies have been denying this.

The intelligence agencies blamed by the relatives to be illegally holding the prisoners are the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the military intelligence. The Attorney General who has been in communication with these agencies said that the prisoners are not with the intelligence agencies but the Punjab government has been insisting that the prisoners were released and handed over to the intelligence agencies, reported Shakeel.

The Supreme Court said that if there are cases against the missing prisoners, it should be informed about them and the matter should be settled by due process of law.

The prisoners went missing when they were released from the Adiala jail. The CJ had directed the AG to sit with all officials and make a concrete statement as to the whereabouts of the 11 missing prisoners. The CJ had earlier refused to transfer this case to a bench and said that he would himself handle the case.

The AG had been directed to present 11 prisoners held on terrorism charges after the prosecution failed to prove charges against them.


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