Altaf Hussain charged by UK police with terrorism offence over 2016 speech, banned from all forms of media

LONDON: A UK court has banned Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain from appearing on any form of media in the UK or Pakistan, after Scotland Yard charged him with a terrorism offence on Thursday in the incitement speech inquiry against him.

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Hussain was presented before the Westminster Magistrates’ court where his lawyers pleaded for bail. But the judge imposed strict conditional bail restrictions, ordering that Hussain should stay under curfew at a specified address every night, and that he will not be allowed to travel without the court’s permission.

Altaf Hussain’s formal trial will now start on November 1 at the Central Criminal Court for case management.MQM founder Altaf Hussain was on Thursday charged with a terrorism offence in a case related to his incendiary speech relayed from the United Kingdom to his followers in Pakistan on August 22, 2016.

Altaf Hussain, who had earlier today arrived at a London police station after his bail expired, was charged by detectives from the Met Police’s Counter Terrorism Command.

“Altaf Hussain […], of Abbey View, Mill Hill, NW7, was charged under section 1(2) of the Terrorism Act (TACT) 2006 with encouraging terrorism,” the Met Police said in a statement on its website.

The charge as stated by the UK police is that Hussain “On 22 August 2016 published a speech to crowds gathered in Karachi, Pakistan which were likely to be understood by some or all of the members of the public to whom they were published as a direct or indirect encouragement to them to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism and at the time he published them, intended them to be so encouraged, or was reckless as to whether they would be so encouraged.”

According to section 1(2) of the Terrorism Act 2006:

A person commits an offence if— (a) he publishes a statement to which this section applies or causes another to publish such a statement; and (b) at the time he publishes it or causes it to be published, he— (i) intends members of the public to be directly or indirectly encouraged or otherwise induced by the statement to commit, prepare or instigate acts of terrorism or Convention offences; or (ii) is reckless as to whether members of the public will be directly or indirectly encouraged or otherwise induced by the statement to commit, prepare or instigate such acts or offences.

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