Talking to media during a press conference here on Friday, Advocate Awais Sheikh claimed that there were many flaws in spy’s trial which the court had overlooked while deciding his appeals against the death sentence.
Sheikh complained that despite the presence of flaws, his client was not given the benefit of doubt as is the case with most local accused.
He said that Singh’s case was one of mistaken identity and he was even presented by the intelligence agencies before the courts under the alias Manjeet Singh, who was originally accused for the terrorism acts.
The Lahore High Court, while deciding Singh’s appeal, had ruled that “name makes no difference and it is enough that he has confessed his crime”, the counsel, who is active only for relief of Indian prisoners in Pakistan, added.
Sheikh was of the view that Singh had never been brought before a magistrate and had never confessed his crime before any court of law or any investigation agency.
Sheikh denied charges that his client had been trained to prepare bombs, plant explosives or had held a Pakistani national identity card bearing the pseudonym Khushi Muhammad s/o Allah Bakhsh.
The advocate alleged that the card had been surreptitiously prepared by Major Abbas, a prosecution witness in the case.
Sheikh claimed that the prosecution’s story was concocted as Manjeet Singh, who had been originally accused for the terror charges, had been arrested on August 31, 1990, but was subsequently released by the military.
Alleging on the superior judiciary of Pakistan, Sheikh said that Sarabjeet Singh had been treated discriminately by the Supreme Court while deciding on a review petition against his death sentence. Suddenly, the counsel rectified his statement and said local cases involving the death penalties are not decided as ex-parte.
“Not only Singh, but many other Indian and Pakistani prisoners are languishing in each other’s jails but civil society, NGOs, and human rights activists of both countries are silent over the matter,” the counsel claimed adding that both countries were under pressure to release the prisoners.