Scotland Yard seek additional 12-hour detention of MQM founder Altaf

LONDON: Scotland Yard submitted a request seeking additional 12-hour detention of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain.

Altaf Hussain is being detained at the Southwark Police Station, where the superintendent submitted the request for additional detention after the expiry of 24-hours.

Altaf Hussain was arrested in a dawn raid at his London residence by Scotland Yard. The MQM founder has been arrested in relation to the hate speech of 2016. According to Scotland Yard, he has been arrested on suspicion of intentionally encouraging or assisting offences contrary to Section 44 of the Serious Crime Act 2007.

The lawyer for the Government of Pakistan Toby Cadman has informed media that according to the material he has seen, there is sufficient evidence to charge MQM founder Altaf Hussain.

“I have seen the evidence, I have reviewed all the evidence from Pakistani authorities and I can say that it presents a compelling case. It is my assessment that there is sufficient evidence to charge Altaf Hussain for a number charges,” Cadman told this scribe.

The lawyer termed the arrest of Altaf Hussain an important step and a decision on if he would be facing charges would be made quickly.

“Ordinarily a decision is made 24 hours after the arrest and then we would expect him to be produced before a magistrate and then formal proceedings to start from thereon,” Cadman added.

According to the lawyer for the Pakistani government, the likelihood of Altaf Hussain being charged was extremely high. “I would certainly expect him to face charges. He may be held in custody he may be bailed. But he will be brought before a magistrate and face trial. What we have to understand is that this process takes months.”

Cardman further said that the Government of Pakistan would still have options if the Metropolitan Police or Crown Prosecution Service decided against charging Altaf Hussain. 

“On behalf of the Government of Pakistan, I would advise a challenge to that decision, a judicial review of that decision. There is also the possibility of private prosecution. Obviously, we would like to see him prosecuted by the British authorities, by the Crown prosecution service but off course, there are options for to the Government of Pakistan if that process does not succeed. But as I said the evidence is there and the witnesses are willing to give evidence. Having reviewed that material I am entirely satisfied that he will be charged,” said the lawyer.