5 Pak army officers sentenced for links with banned outfit
REZAUL H LASKAR\PTI
Islamabad, Aug 3: Five Pakistan Army officers, including a brigadier who was accused of plotting to overthrow the civilian government, have been sentenced by an army court for having links with the banned Hizb-ut-Tahrir group.
"Field general court martial proceedings against Brigadier Ali Khan, Major Inayat Aziz, Major Iftikhar, Major Sohail Akbar and Major Jawad Baseer have been completed," a statement issued by the military today said.
"All five accused have been convicted...Of the charges (of) having links with a proscribed organisation," it said.
Though the statement did not name the proscribed group, official sources confirmed that the five officers had been convicted for their links with the Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HuT), which is behind a campaign to establish a caliphate in Pakistan and other countries.
Brigadier Khan was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for five years while Major Akbar was given rigorous imprisonment for three years.
Major Baseer was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for to two years while the two other officers were given 18-month prison terms.
The convicts "have the right to an appeal against conviction before the army court of appeals as provided in the Pakistan Army Act", the statement said.
Khan and the four others were detained a few days after the unilateral US raid that killed Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad on May 2 last year.
Following the US raid, the HuT distributed pamphlets in cantonments asking soldiers and officers to rise up against the army leadership.
Khan was accused of plotting to mount an attack on the army's General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and to topple the civilian government.
Army authorities alleged Khan had contacted several officers as part of his efforts to engineer a mutiny.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 3 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 3 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 4 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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