Mon, Jun 20, 2011 - Page 5 News List

Pakistani troops face charges for televised killing

AFP, KARACHI, Pakistan

A Pakistani anti-terror court agreed on Saturday to hear murder and terrorism charges against six soldiers and a civilian over the killing of an unarmed man in a park that shocked the nation.

Paramilitary Rangers shot dead Sarfaraz Shah, 22, in Karachi on June 8 after he was accused of robbery and his family has demanded justice, insisting he was an innocent student.

The killing was filmed by a TV cameraman and subsequently broadcast around-the-clock on national TV channels.

“We have formally charged the six Rangers personnel and a civilian for murder and terrorism and have submitted our charge sheet to the judge of the anti--terrorism court,” public prosecutor Arshad Iqbal Cheema said. “The court has accepted the charge sheet and approved it for formal hearing.”

Cheema said investigators had gathered forensic and chemical reports from the relevant departments and had also had the footage of the killing checked by experts “who verified it as a genuine, unedited and unaltered film.”

“We have a solid case in terms of evidences and witnesses,” he said. “We have two eye witnesses who were present on the scene, besides 44 including the experts and officials involved in the case investigation.”

In a rare move toward accountability, Pakistan this week removed the chiefs of police and Rangers in Sindh Province, of which Karachi is the capital.

Footage of the killing showed a clean-shaven man wearing black trousers and a navy shirt pleading for his life before he was shot twice.

He then begged for help while the soldiers appeared to do nothing but watch him fall slowly unconscious.

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