Key suspect in ex-AG’s murder escapes
RAWALPINDI, July 29: The key under-trial suspect in the murder of Sardar Khan, a former attorney general and retired judge of Peshawar High Court, dramatically escaped from the District Headquarters Hospital Rawalpindi early Sunday.
The accused was admitted to the hospital for liver treatment under the custody of the Adiala Jail guards from Islamabad police.
The escape of the high-profile murder suspect, Roohullah, 46, sparked security alert across the country and abroad, and the immigration authorities at Benazir Bhutto International Airport were informed about the incident.
Sources said the authorities in Dubai were also alerted soon after reports that the accused had flown to that city. According to the preliminary police investigation, the brother of Roohullah had brought snacks for the three policemen guarding him in the hospital ward.
As the policemen were enjoying the snack, the under-trial prisoner told them not to disturb him as he would be saying his prayers inside the room. Later, the accused closed the door and escaped.
Roohullah was last seen leaving the DHQ hospital in a black car at around 2.50am and then he was reportedly driven straight to the airport from where he boarded an Emirates flight that took off for Dubai at 3.30am. However, his final destination was not known.
Police reports said the accused had received his fresh Pakistani passport during his appearance in the trial court in police custody recently. The passport was issued on June 20, 2012; however, the place of its issuance remained unknown.
It may be noted that the Supreme Court had also taken a suo motu notice of the ex-AG’s killing in 2010 and directed the Ministry of Interior to arrest the accused.
In May 2011, Roohullah was arrested in Oman and deported to Islamabad in connection with the killing of the former attorney general. The arrest came after a ‘red-notice’ was issued by Interpol as he escaped from Pakistan after allegedly killing Mr Khan in Islamabad in February 2010.
After his deportation, the accused was taken from the Islamabad airport to the Shalimar police station where a murder case had already been registered against him.
Later, he was sent to the Central Jail Adiala and kept in the high security barrack.
On June 16, the prisoner was shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital for liver treatment on the recommendation of the jail doctor. He was admitted to the medical ward’s bed No 19, where police assistant sub-inspector Ali Syed and two constables -
Tahir Saeed and Mohammad Yaqoob – of the Islamabad police guarded him.“He was suffering from hepatitis-B and was advised injections by doctors. He was in a stable condition and was likely to be discharged within a next couple of days,” a doctor at the hospital said.
According to preliminary reports, Roohullah was not handcuffed when the three police guards left for Sehri on Sunday.
On their return at around 2.50am, they found the door of Roohullah’s room closed. However, when they looked into the room from the window, they found his bed empty.
Senior Superintendent of Police (operation) Dr Akhtar Abbas, when contacted, said: “It is not a simple escape and needs a high level of inquiry as the involvement of Islamabad police cannot be ruled out.”
Dr Abbas said when the Rawalpindi police were informed about the escape by their Islamabad counterpart; the prisoner’s flight had taken off from the airport.