Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A slow start for Pakistan's military courts

New cases are one thing, but how do existing criminal prosecutions get transferred from Pakistan's existing civilian antiterrorism courts to its new military courts? This seems to be less clear than you might think. This article in the Express Tribune tells the tale:
The newly-established military courts are unlikely to start functioning in the province anytime soon as the authorities pass the responsibility onto each other about the authority to transfer militancy-related trials pending in the anti-terrorism courts (ATCs). 
Sources told The Express Tribune on Wednesday that the home authorities recently approached the Sindh High Court (SHC) chief justice Faisal Arab, the chief secretary and others to ask for the transfer of trials of three cases relating to armed attacks on law enforcement agencies, registered against Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants. 
The home department’s letter, dated April 2, stated that the provincial prosecutor general had advised approaching Arab as the competent authority to transfer the three cases from the ATCs to other courts, such as the military courts.

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