LAHORE - In a mixed reaction over the statement of Saulat Mirza, a condemned prisoner in Machh Jail of Balochistan, some senior lawyers say that the statement and allegations hurled by him at the present stage of the case may bring the leadership of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) to the same gallows he was about to wear after five hours.

Others say that the statement at this stage by a condemned prisoner does not have any legal value; however, it can give a tough time to the MQM, politically.

They say a mere statement from a convict in jail where no cross examination was held on the statement and no oath was taken on it by any magistrate, could not affect the process of law, as he should have said it earlier before a judicial magistrate or even at the time his conviction was announced, they argue.

Talking to The Nation here on Thursday, SCBA President Fazl-i-Haq Abbasi said that the statement and allegations by Mirza had no worth or value in the eyes of law. He said that the courts could not take his statement directly. “He could have become an approver in the case in earlier stages but not now,” he added.

LHCBA President Pir Masood Chishti says that there is no space for the statement of Mirza. Advocate Abid Hassan Manto says that the statement at this stage was useless. “I simply wonder how it was released and how it was treated by media when it has no significance in the case,” he said.

Judicial Activism Penal Chairman Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique says both time and declaration have much important in judicial system, especially in cases of criminal nature. He states Mirza’s statement has legal and political implications over the status of the person who has leveled serious allegations against a political party of Sindh.

Azhar said that the statement and allegations leveled against MQM leadership by Saulat Mirza, at this stage, have also changed the status of the case he awarded death sentence for.

“After Saulat’s statement, the trial is incomplete, so he cannot be executed in that case,” says Azhar Siddique. He adds the federal government may seek permission to reinvestigate the matter on the basis of his statement in order maintain peace in Karachi - the financial hub of the country.

He further said that now the government could take him to the get his statement recorded before a magistrate concerned.

On Wednesday night, Saulat Mirza, in an unusual statement issued from his death cell, alleged: “At the behest of party’s London-based leader Altaf Hussain, Senator Babar Ghouri ordered four of us to gun down the then managing director of Karachi Electric Supply Corporation, Shahid Hamid. Ghouri put us through to Altaf Hussain over the phone. Senior party leader Tariq Azeem was also killed on Altaf’s orders.”

On May 24, 1999, an Anti-Terrorism court had sentenced Saulat Mirza to death for killing KESC MD Shahid Hamid, his driver and a guard on July 5, 1997, in Karachi.