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.

The court also orders their release but Adiala Jail   authorities released only one accused