Age of victim:
Date of incident: 2022-10-23
Incident Description: Shot dead
Organisation: Bol News
Location: -, -
Cause of Death: Targeted Murder
Summary of case
On October 23, 2022, senior journalist Arshad Sharif was shot dead while traveling in a car in Magadi, a town south of Kenya’s capital Nairobi.
There were initially varying reports on the cause of his death. Some reports claimed it was an accident. Kenyan media claimed it was a case of “mistaken identity.”
As per the Kenyan police, Sharif was “fatally wounded by a police officer while a passenger in a motor vehicle KDG200M.”
On October 25, the Ministry of Interior formed a team to investigate Sharif’s murder consisting of officials from the Federal Investigations Agency, the Intelligence Bureau, and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
According to Geo, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has said the investigative team would “examine the complete reasons and motives behind Sharif's departure from Pakistan to Dubai and from Dubai to Kenya.”
Before his death, Sharif had left Pakistan in August 2022. In April of the same year, there were reports that Sharif was facing harassment by the FIA. While the FIA had denied responsibility for the arrest or harassment, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had ordered the agency to stop harassing Sharif and other journalists.
In December 2022, a fact-finding team (FFT) comprising officials of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Intelligence Bureau determined that Sharif’s death was a result of a “planned targeted assassination.”
The FFT report found that the version of the Kenyan Police claiming the death to be a case of mistaken identity was “full of contradictions.” It stated that the post-mortem indicated that the journalist had also been tortured.
On December 6, 2022, the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Umar Ata Bandial, took suo motu notice of Sharif’s killing.
On the top court's orders, a first information report of Sharif’s murder was registered at the Ramna Police Station in Islamabad, The Express Tribune reported. The FIR was registered on December 6, 2022, on the complaint of the Station House Officer Rasheed Ahmed.
As per the report, the case was registered against three prime suspects — Waqar Ahmed, Khurram Ahmed, and Tariq Ahmed Wasi.
Sharif’s wife, Javeria Siddique, said this was the only registered FIR. Siddique said that Sharif’s mother had also wanted to register an FIR, but the police had not permitted her to do so. She said this was because, according to the police, the Supreme Court had ordered the Islamabad Police to register the FIR and restricted them from registering any other FIR to avoid confusion.
A special joint investigative team (SJIT) was formed and was asked by the Supreme Court to submit its progress reports.
On December 8, 2022, the SJIT went to the United Arab Emirates and Kenya for further investigations and to collect evidence. The first sealed report of the SJIT was shared with the Supreme Court on February 12, 2023. However, it was rejected by the chief justice, Samaa English reported.
The case is currently ongoing at the Supreme Court. In a hearing on May 9, 2023, the attorney general of Pakistan told the court that the Kenyan authorities were not happy about the release of the fact-finding committee, Dawn reported. CJP Bandial said that Kenyan authorities had become “non-responsive and non-cooperative.”
Sharif’s Legal Counsel Barrister Saad Buttar told PPF that special JIT had told the court on May 8 that the Kenyan government was not cooperating with them. He added that the Kenyan government was not happy with the leak of the fact-finding committee, which was supposed to be confidential.
Additionally, Buttar said in the last court hearing on May 8, 2023, the CJP had asked him to prepare a strategic report on taking Sharif’s case to international forums such as the United Nations, Amnesty International, and the Committee to Protect Journalists. The top judge asked him to share this with the court in the next hearing.
Was case investigated: Yes
Name of accused in FIR: Waqar Ahmed, Khurram Ahmed, and Tariq Ahmed Wasi
Was FIR registered: Yes
Status of court case: Suo-Motu case ongoing in Supreme Court
Attack suspected by: Unidentified
Court where case was presented: Supreme Court