The mystery about slain journalist Arshad Sharif’s missing iPad and iPhone, two key articles of evidence, has deepened as the Kenyan intelligence authorities have refused to acknowledge whether they have the gadgets or not, carrying crucial evidence.

Waqar and Khurram Ahmad — the two brothers who hosted him — have made conflicting statements about Arshad’s missing iPhone and iPad, according to people familiar with the investigation.

They had invited Arshad to Kenya and arranged his stay at their flat in Nairobi. 

Earlier, the brothers promised the Pakistani investigation team, comprising Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director Athar Wahid and Intelligence Bureau (IB) Deputy Director General Omar Shahid Hamid that they will share information about Arshad’s iPhone and iPad with them but later backed out saying the Kenyan intelligence service had taken away the gadgets from them.

When asked by Pakistani investigators if they had Arshad’s iPhone and iPad and whether Pakistan could get access to both gadgets to seek help in the inquiry, the Kenyan intelligence and police services refused to cooperate and did not even acknowledge whether they have both the gadgets.

However, a top sleuth who is privy to the ongoing investigations in Kenya shared that Waqar had said that he handed over a number of items, including Arshad’s iPhone and iPad to Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Kenya, Saqlain Syeda.

“Indeed, Waqar has said that he handed over some items to the ambassador and even has evidence of the person signing that they had received the things. It is now funny that an explanation is being issued that no one knows the whereabouts of the gadgets,” said the officer who spoke in confidence as they are not authorised to speak to the media. 

It is also worth noting that police officers in Kenya are yet to come to a conclusion on what transpired leading to the death of Arshad when he was being driven towards Nairobi by Khurram. This is because the officers believe that there was a shooting that took place where an officer was injured which led to the deadly shooting.

The Independent Policing and Oversight Authority (IPOA) — a Kenyan body that investigates incidents where police officers shoot civilians — believe that police were involved. It is also yet to make a conclusion on its investigations. 

The Pakistani investigators in their meetings with Waqar and Khurram asked them to provide CCTV footage of Riverside Flats, where Arshad stayed for two months, dates and messages from their phone and their full communication exchange with Karachi Kings CEO Tariq Wasi.

The brothers promised in the first and second meetings with the investigators that they will provide CCTV footage of the flat covering Arshad’s movements and will also hand over phone record data, including their communication with Wasi related to Arshad’s visa and sponsor arrangements, but backed out and stopped communications with the Pakistani team.

Diplomat Syeda didn’t respond to questions if the Kenya intelligence officer’s claim is true or false. Sources in both Kenya and Pakistan have confirmed that Wasi has not responded to the questionnaire sent by the investigators.

The News revealed last week that Pakistani investigators believe that Arshad had handed over his MacBook laptop to former Pakistan minister of communications Murad Saeed before leaving Pakistan for Dubai. The FIA instructed Murad Saeed to present himself and produce the laptop to the investigations team on November 28.

Murad declined to make any comments regarding the FIA’s summons. However, he had expressed his frustrations in the ongoing probe and said in a letter to the Supreme Court of Pakistan he was willing to present himself before the judicial commission and present all information and evidence he has.

MURDER CASE REGISTERED: The Islamabad police on Tuesday registered a first information report (FIR) against the murder of journalist Arshad Sharif on orders of the Supreme Court.

The complaint was lodged by the station house officer (SHO) of the Ramna police station, Rasheed Ahmed, and nominated three people — Waqar Ahmed, Khurram Ahmed, and Tariq Ahmed Wasi —under sections 302 (punishment for murder) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

It stated that the murder took place in Kenya on October 23. The complainant said that he reached the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) on the night of October 26 when Sharif’s body reached the hospital and a postmortem examination was carried out.

After that, he said the medico-legal officers handed over four parcels of evidence to the police.

The FIR added that according to the postmortem report, Sharif died due to the firing of ammunition.

Reacting to the development, Sharif’s wife Javeria Siddique questioned why the case was registered on the complaint of the police when the slain journalist’s family members were still alive.

She said that the FIR could only be lodged by her mother-in-law (Sharif’s mother).

Earlier, the Supreme Court, while taking suo notice of Arshad Sharif’s murder, directed the government to register a first information report (FIR) by Tuesday night.

A larger bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Jamal Mandokhail, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar, heard the case.

“The FIR should be registered by tonight,” CJP Bandial remarked as the court directed the authorities concerned to submit a copy to the court by tomorrow (Wednesday).

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