MQM creator Altaf Hussain released on bail

LONDON: The founder of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Altaf Hussain, was released on bail on Wednesday after the Scotland Yard took him into custody in an early morning raid on Tuesday.

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The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) told media the current evidence was not enough to charge Hussain at this stage. Police confirmed that according to the CPS, the investigation will continue.

Earlier, Hussain had refused to answer questions of detectives from Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism Command Unit.

Scotland Yard today submitted a request seeking additional 12-hour detention of Hussain.

The superintendent submitted the request for additional detention after the expiry of 24-hours of Altaf Hussain, who was detained at the Southwark Police Station.

Altaf Hussain was arrested on Tuesday from his house in London by Scotland Yard on the charges of hate speech of 2016. According to Scotland Yard, he has been arrested on suspicion of intentionally encouraging or assisting offenses contrary to Section 44 of the Serious Crime Act 2007.

The lawyer representing the Government of Pakistan Toby Cadman has said that according to the material he has seen, there is sufficient evidence to charge MQM founder Altaf Hussain.

Cadman said, “I have seen the evidence, I have reviewed all the evidence from Pakistani authorities and I can say that it presents a compelling case. It is my assessment that there is sufficient evidence to charge Altaf Hussain for a number of charges.”

The lawyer dubbed the arrest of Altaf Hussain an important step and a decision on if he would be facing charges would be made quickly, adding, “ordinarily a decision is made 24 hours after the arrest and then we would expect him to be produced before a magistrate and then formal proceedings to start from thereon.”

According to the lawyer, the probability of Altaf Hussain being charged was extremely high. “I would certainly expect him to face charges. He may be held in custody he may be bailed. But he will be brought before a magistrate and face trial. What we have to understand is that this process takes months.”

The Government of Pakistan would still have options if the Metropolitan Police or Crown Prosecution Service decided against charging Altaf Hussain, Cadman further said.

He said, “on behalf of the Government of Pakistan, I would advise a challenge to that decision, a judicial review of that decision. There is also the possibility of private prosecution. Obviously, we would like to see him prosecuted by the British authorities, by the Crown prosecution service but off course, there are options for the Government of Pakistan if that process does not succeed. But as I said the evidence is there and the witnesses are willing to give evidence. Having reviewed that material I am entirely satisfied that he will be charged.”

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