Senior journalist claims Sharif was shot at close range; ‘not a case of mistaken identity but a planned murder’
Slain journalist Arshad Sharif was brutally tortured for hours before being shot dead according to post-mortem reports, claimed a private TV channel on Wednesday night.
The journalist hosting the show also claimed that Sharif was shot at close range and that this was not a case of mistaken identity but a ‘planned murder’.
He further claimed that the slain journalist’s fingernails were pulled out and his fingers and ribs were broken during torture.
The senior journalist, on his show, further stated that around ’10 American instructors and trainers’ were present at the shooting range on the day of Sharif’s murder.
According to the host of the show, Sharif’s contact in Kenya, Khurram, decided to take a longer route back to the city on the day of the murder instead of the oft-used Magadi Highway route on October 23.
The private TV program further claimed that the Kenyan authorities did not cooperate with the investigation either, adding that they also avoided giving information about the persons present at the range.
Sharif was shot dead on the outskirts of Kenya’s Nairobi city on October 23. His death sent shock waves across rights organisations, the media fraternity and civil society and prompted calls for thorough investigation and disclosure of facts.
Earlier, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said evidence suggested Sharif was the victim of a targeted killing in Kenya, not an accidental shooting, though he still needed more information on the incident.
Kenyan police spokesman Bruno Shioso declined to respond to the minister’s comments on the death of the TV journalist.
A police report a day after the shooting said police officers hunting car thieves opened fire on the vehicle that Sharif was traveling in as it drove through their roadblock without stopping.
Shioso said the case was now being investigated by the police watchdog, the state Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA). A spokesperson at the IPOA did not immediately respond to calls and a message seeking comment.
The government had formed an investigation team to look into the matter, which caused uproar in the country. The minister said the team had returned from Kenya, but Kenyan police had not yet given Pakistani investigators all of Sharif’s recovered belongings.