KARACHI: An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Karachi issued a fresh death warrant for Saulat Mirza on Saturday, according to which the condemned prisoner is set to be hanged on May 12 in Machh Jail.
Saulat Ali Khan, better known as Saulat Mirza and a worker of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), was sentenced to death by an ATC in 1999 for killing then managing director of Karachi Electric Supply Corporation Shahid Hamid, his driver, and a guard in 1997 in Karachi’s Defence area.
The MQM has however said that Mirza had been fired from the party much before the murder took place. Mirza, however, denies the party’s claim.
The trial court had issued the first black warrant against Mirza on March 11 and had asked the jail authorities to send him to the gallows on March 19. However, the president had deferred the execution a few hours before the convict was to be hanged after private news channels aired a video message of the convict in which he levelled serious allegations against the top MQM leadership. Later, a joint investigation team was also constituted to grill the death row prisoner.
Another black warrant for Mirza was issued on March 24 for a hanging on April 1 after jail officials informed the trial court on March 22 that the three-day stay ordered by the president had ended and they had not received any further stay orders. The superintendent of the Machh jail then wrote a letter to the court informing it that the implementation of the last black warrant, issued on March 24 for hanging on April 1, was deferred by the presidency for one month (April 1 to April 30).
Today’s is the third death warrant issued for the condemned prisoner who along with some other high-profile inmates was shifted from Karachi to the Machh prison in April last year.
The SHC had twice turned down the applications of Mirza’s relatives seeking his transfer back to the Karachi central prison after provincial authorities informed it that the condemned prisoner had been moved to Machh jail for security reasons.