Hate speeches: ATC exempts Wasim Akhtar from appearance

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Saturday granted an exemption to Karachi mayor Wasim Akhtar and Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Amir Khan from appearance in the next hearing of two cases pertaining to hate speeches.
Dr Farooq Sattar, Khawaja Izharul Hassan and other MQM-P leaders appeared before the ATC judge as he resumed the hearing into the cases.
During the hearing, the court granted a plea moved by Wasim Akhtar and Amir Khan seeking exemption from personal appearance in the next hearing fixed for March 1.
It directed the investigation officer to produce the complainants of the cases along with a detailed investigation report.
Earlier today, the ATC handed down an amended indictment to the mayor and 20 others in 12 May, 2007 violence case.
An amended charge-sheet was presented before the court by police framing new charges against the accused persons.
Wasim Akhtar also appeared during the case hearing today.
However, mayor Karachi, Umair Siddiqui and other people nominated in the case denied charges before the court.
The ATC also indicted other absconding persons in the case including Abdul Zahid and issued their arrest warrants.
Zahid had already filed a bail plea before the anti-terrorism court.
His lawyer had also furnished arguments to seek release of his client.