Thursday, September 12, 2019

MQM founder Altaf Hussain's bail extended again in hate speech inquiry

MQM founder Altaf Hussain was arrested on June 11 in relation to the 2016 hate speech

LONDON: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain’s bail was extended for the second time on Thursday in the hate speech investigation against him.

The MQM founder was called again for questioning in relation to the incitement speech of August 2016 from London to a rally in Karachi.

The British police said that the investigation is still in process. The duration of Altaf Hussain's bail extension is for a month.

The MQM founder’s questioning took place at the Southwark police station today, where he was accompanied by his British lawyer.

UK police confirmed that Altaf Hussain opted for his right to ‘no comment’ and did not answer questions by the detectives.

Earlier a police source told Geo News the MQM founder and leader was asked to appear at the police station to answer questions about the incitement speech inquiry after Pakistani authorities produced new material to Scotland Yard detectives investigating the case.

Both the MQM and police sources confirmed that the MQM founder’s bail ended today and he was asked to appear at the police station in-person to answer questions about the investigation, which was led by officers from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command and focused on a speech broadcast in August 2016 as well as other speeches previously broadcast by the same person.

After his arrest in June this year, the MQM founder was called again to appear at the police station to answer bail condition in the second week of July 2019, however, his bail at that time was extended through a letter by the police to his solicitors. 

This time, the police have decided to call him to the police station, meaning that the police have new questions and there are new lines of inquiry.

Police sources have confirmed, Hussain was under strict bail conditions during the investigation process. He was not allowed to address a crowd of people for fear of arousing them and he was bound to stay at the designated address under curfew conditions from evening to morning. 

Hussain cannot travel out of the UK without the police permission.

The MQM founder was arrested on June 11, 2019, during a dawn raid at his home and taken to a south London police station. The Scotland Yard at the time had said Hussain had been arrested on suspicion of intentionally encouraging or assisting offences contrary to Section 44 of the Serious Crime Act 2007.

Section 44

Intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence

(1) A person commits an offence if —

• (a) he does an act capable of encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence; and

• (b) he intends to encourage or assist its commission.

(2) But he is not to be taken to have intended to encourage or assist the commission of an offence merely because such encouragement or assistance was a foreseeable consequence of his act.