No evidence to back Imran, Arshad murder conspiracy: UK police

Murtaza Ali Shah
Police officers stand guard outside Downing Street in London, Britain. Reuters/File
Police officers stand guard outside Downing Street in London, Britain. Reuters/File

  • Scotland Yard says no realistic prospect of a charge at this stage.
  • Evidence yet to be provided to back claims of murder conspiracies.
  • Police say it cannot arrest innocent people on whims and wishes.

LONDON: The Scotland Yard has said there is no realistic prospect of a charge and conviction at this stage against Nasir Butt, Nawaz Sharif and others over the allegations of murder conspiracy made by Syed Tasnim Haider with help from his solicitor, The News reported on Thursday.

In a detailed email sent to solicitor Mahtab Anwar Aziz and his client Tasnim Haider, the police have made it clear that there will be no arrests made in the absence of proper evidence. 

It's understood the police decided to write a long letter after insistence by Haider and his lawyer to arrest Maryam Nawaz before she left for Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, Nasir Butt and six others to start an investigation. 

The police have made it clear that there is no murder investigation at this stage.

It's understood that so far only statements of allegations have been provided to the police and no evidence has been provided to back up claims of murder conspiracies in Pakistan and Kenya. 

Tasnim Haider and Mahtab Anwar Aziz received huge publicity in the Pakistani media after making allegations, promising that the arrest of Nasir Butt, Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz was imminent. 

The police officer looking into the allegations wrote: "I note your dissatisfaction with the lack of arrests. However, as I explained in my previous email, this is not a standard investigation. Unfortunately, due to the very nature of the allegations, an international conspiracy involving foreign politicians, a simple arrest and charge is not the most productive strategy." 

"In order to secure a charge, we need to convince the CPS that the allegation has a reasonable prospect of conviction against the test beyond reasonable doubt. At this moment in time, we have the statements from your client. They alone are insufficient to meet this test, especially in light of the severity of any potential charge," he said.

The police said it cannot arrest innocent people on whims and wishes and on the basis of unproven allegations, adding: "Thus any arrest (assuming the necessary conditions are met) would be followed by the release of the suspect. Invariably, they would be allowed to return to Pakistan as it would be rather difficult to justify preventing a serving foreign politician from restraining home on the basis of an, as yet, unproven allegation."

The police have addressed solicitor Mahtab Anwar Aziz, from Central Chambers Law firm who is affiliated with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and has so far led the campaign unsuccessfully, stating: "As you have routinely pointed out the incident, which is allegedly the result of the conspiracy, has taken place in countries outside the UK, where we do not exercise jurisdiction, thus inquiries there require formal approval at government level."

The UK police said: "The contact attempts from the Pakistan JIT have been informal and thus we are unable to share information with them. There is something they should be aware of and they would need to submit a formal request via their government for us to be able to share information with them. Additional anything we receive from them, via these informal channels, would not be admissible in a UK criminal trial. We are currently working on making further inquiries, however, as with anything that requires international cooperation, this takes significant time."

The UK police do not normally comment on political matters but in the letter, Scotland Yard has categorically told Mahtab Anwar Aziz and Tasnim Haider that it has nothing to do with Pakistan's political affairs. 

The investigating police officer wrote: "I think it is also worth pointing out that some of the issues you and your client raise are allegations that the PML-N is corruptly trying to retain power. It is not for the UK police to interfere in the internal policies of foreign countries.”

The Scotland Yard had confirmed to 'Geo News' a month ago it has not launched any investigation into the allegations of murder conspiracy against Nawaz Sharif and Nasir Butt.

Syed Tansim Haider and his lawyer had claimed that an investigation had been launched on their complaints to Scotland Yard, naming Nawaz Sharif, Nasir Butt, Anjem Chaudhry and five others. 

Tasnim Haider had claimed that the murder plan against Imran Khan and Arshad Sharif was first made on Eid Day, July 8 this year, and that murder planning meeting was attended by eight people in total. 

The police have said that the first complaint was made in London on November 5, 2022, alleging that Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz had ordered an attack on Imran Khan from London. 

The complaint was made by solicitor Mahtab Anwar Aziz at the Charing Police Station.

Originally published in The News