Rawalpindi-An anti-terrorism court dropped charges against 3 accused of 2007 Noor Khan Airbase attack case and ordered their release here on Saturday.

The court also acquitted the accused in explosive recovery cases that were registered against them with Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) and Airport police.

ATC No 3 Special Judge Abdul Raheem ordered acquittal and release of the three accused, identified as Rafaqat Hussain, Hunain Gull and Abdul Rashid.

According to details, the accused had filed applications for acquittal through their lawyer Qazi Khalil and after hearing arguments from both sides, the ATC No 3 Special Judge Abdul Raheem, who is conducting the trial, dropped charges against them and ordered their release.

Officials of CTD and Airport police stations have lodged several cases against the accused under sections 4/5 Explosive Substance Act (ESA) and held them.

However, Adiala Jail authorities released only one accused Rafaqat Hussain after receiving his release orders while parents of Rafaqat alleged that he was again picked up by personnel of law enforcement agencies soon after his release from the jail.

Talking to The Nation, Superintendent Adiala Jail Saqib Nazir Chaudhry confirmed release of one accused Rafaqat Hussain on orders of the court. He said that the two other accused were still in jail because they had not submitted surety bonds worth Rs500,000 each in BB murder case.

The three accused were also allegedly involved in PPP former chairperson and former premier Benazir Bhutto’s assassination case and were arrested by police. An anti-terrorism court special judge Asghar Khan had acquitted 5 accused including the 3 in high profile case on August 30, 2017. Nonetheless, the home department had barred jail authorities from releasing them and prolonged their detention under 16 MPO.

Separately, a rape victim girl Rafia Azam appeared before court of Additional and Session Judge Masood Akhter Warraich and recorded statement that the 3 cops and a civilian had not raped her in a private housing society. She told the court that PS Rawat officials had wrongly implicated them in the rape case. The 4 accused Rashid, Naseer, Azim and Amir were also present in the courtroom. The court adjourned hearing till July 6, 2019.