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Baldia factory fire: SHC hears plea against owners’ video link testimony

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday heard a plea of Baldia factory fire case accused Rehman Bhola against trial court’s permission to factory owners to testify via video link from Dubai, ARY News reported.

Deputy Attorney General (DAG) in his arguments pleaded to the court to reject the plea against factory owners’ video link testimony.

The blaze at the Ali Enterprises factory in Baldia Town of Karachi on September 11, 2012, had killed at least 258 people in one of Pakistan’s worst industrial disasters.

An Anti Terrorism Court had granted plea of the factory owners to testify before the court via video link from Dubai.

Accused Rehman Bhola challenged the ATC’s permission to factory owners in the high court.

DAG in his arguments quoted testimonies in courts via video link. “The Supreme Court had granted permission for video link testimony in Hussain Nawaz case,” DAG said.

The court also decided to record statement via video link in General Musharraf’s case, the court remarked.

The high court bench directed the parties to give further arguments in the hearing on September 13.

Accused Rehman Bhola’s lawyer earlier argued that the law and order situation has improved in city and the factory owners should arrive here to record their statements in court.

The case took a new turn in February 2015 when Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, submitted a joint investigation team (JIT) report in the Sindh High Court (SHC), which revealed that the factory was set on fire after its owners failed to pay protection money.

Later, the police in its progress report informed the trial court in March 2016 that the factory fire was a planned terrorist act and the JIT had recommended that a new case be registered under the anti-terrorism law against the accused persons.

During the case a witness had testified before the anti terrorism court that the factory was set on fire after its owners refused to pay extortion amount to a political party.

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