A detective constable from the Met Police’s counter-terrorism department was cross-examined at the Kingston-upon-Thames court on Monday, as the incitement to violence trial against MQM supremo Altaf Hussain entered its second week.

The officer informed the court about evidence retrieved during a raid at the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s international secretariat at Edgware, London, in 2019.

The officer spoke of the recovery of a BT enterprise voice recorder, which was later examined forensically for its digital contents. The recorder was capable of making and recording audio calls that were made to and from the London secretariat.

The language used in most of the calls was Urdu, so investigators then took the assistance of translators and interpreters to create a chronological timeline and transcript.

During the cross-examination, the prosecution and police witness referred to the contents of the recorder, as well as audio cassette tapes that were recovered by the police. Notebooks recovered from the office were also used to compile this timeline. The prosecution referred to this evidence to establish encouragement of violence.

Altaf Hussain has been charged under Section 1(2) of the Terrorism Act 2006 of inciting violence during a speech delivered on August 22, 2016.

It was revealed that a letter of re­­q­uest was sent by the Crown Prosecu­tion Service during its investigation to Pakistani authorities in early 2019, and that the officer visited Pakistan as part of the probe where certain items were made available to them.

The transcripts of the recorded calls were heavily referenced during the hearing, with a detailed reading out of the conversation between Altaf Hussain and MQM leader Amir Khan.

Altaf repeatedly spoke of the extra-judicial killings of MQM workers, “fixing” the Sindh police, and charging on the Rangers headquarters in Karachi to confront then DG Rangers Bilal Akbar.

“DG Rangers must be arrested for the murder of 60 men. I need 500,000 people to shove inside Rangers HQ and get Bilal Akbar out,” he allegedly said during one of the calls.

In other calls with party workers, the transcript showed unknown men saying that “if Bhai order, it shall be done today”.

Altaf at one point in the transcript also said: “The TV channels who abuse MQM, tell them to take their camera and leave.” He expressed anger at Geo and ARY specifically, and threatened to have their “heads paraded on donkeys”.

Altaf in these calls made multiple requests to sector-in-charges of Gulshan, Korangi and Malir to bring “50,000 people each” so that a large crowd can be assembled.

“Even if 100, or 200 or 500 get martyred, DG Rangers should be taken out as he has martyred hundreds of our workers,” the transcript quoted him as saying.

“It is better to die once than die every day,” he said, in the transcript. “Let’s see how many more of us they can kill, let them kill as many as they can in a day so we can be on jihad.”

The hearing was adjourned after a video of Altaf addressing workers was played for members of the jury.


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