Pak police files charge sheet against US 'jihad seekers'

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Islamabad, Mar.2 (ANI): Pakistani Police on Tuesday submitted a charge sheet against five young US students, who were apprehended from Sargodha in December last year over alleged links with Al-Qaeda and plotting terror attacks across the country.

Defence lawyer Hassan Katchela said that the US students, all in their mid 20's, have not been charged but the police has submitted a charge sheet against them in an anti-terrorism court in Sargodha.

The court is likely to formally charge all the 'jihad seekers' on the next hearing, scheduled to take place on March 10.

"Today a challan (charge sheet) was submitted in the court. Between now and the 10th (March), the court will go through the documents with the assistance of all the lawyers. If the court feels that there is reason to proceed with the trial after the reading of all the documents, it will start their trial through framing charges against all the accused," Katchela said.

"If the accused feel that the charges against them are false, and there is no evidence against them, they will plead not guilty," he added.

Terming the evidence against them as 'vague', the five American students had moved a bail application in a court earlier.

However, there are very bleak chances of them being released on bail.

The five accused, who were arrested on charges of ties with terror groups linked with the Al-Qaeda, had pleaded innocence, and said that they were being 'set up' and tortured by the FBI and the Pakistani police.

Waqar Hussain Khan (22), Virginia, Ahmed Abdullah Mani (20), Virginia, Ramay S Zamzam (22), Iman Hasan Yamar (17), California and Omar Farouk (24), Virginia, were arrested in Sargodha on December 9, for plotting terror attacks in Pakistan and Afghansitan, and are locked in a Pakistani jail without being charged.

Pakistan has made it clear that the men would not be deported to the US and that they would be prosecuted in the country itself. (ANI)

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