Friend and Ally Update from Reuters, with thanks to DFS:
KARACHI (Reuters) – A Pakistani high court on Tuesday acquitted four Islamist militants who had been convicted of taking part in a suicide car bomb attack on the U.S. consulate in the southern city of Karachi in mid-2002, a defence lawyer said.
Twelve Pakistanis were killed and 43 people were injured in the attack. No consulate staff were killed.
An anti-terrorism court had sentenced the four suspected members of a shadowy militant group to either death or life imprisonment in 2003.
The government had sought capital punishment for all of them, but after an appeal hearing the high court decided instead on Tuesday to acquit them.
“The court ruled that the eyewitness accounts and evidence given by security officials was flawed and overturned the earlier sentences,” Abdul Waheed Katpar, a defence lawyer, told Reuters.
The men were alleged to be members of the militant group Harkat-ul-Mujahideen al-Almi, a splinter faction of the outlawed Harkat-ul Mujahideen which is fighting Indian rule in the disputed Kashmir region.