The London police extended the bail of Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain for three months after grilling him for over five hours in their ongoing money-laundering investigations on Tuesday.
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The Muttahida’s leaders in London and Karachi said that no charges were filed against Mr Hussain, who appeared before investigators at a London police station on Tuesday morning.
Police ‘interviewed’ him for a second time in connection with the money-laundering case in the presence of Mr Hussain’s lawyers. An MQM spokesman said in a statement that the London Metropolitan Police extended the police bail of Mr Hussain till mid-July after a ‘scheduled interview’. Later talking to media at the MQM’s international secretariat in London, Mr Hussain rejected all allegations of money-laundering against him and said that he had complete faith in the British judicial system. Mr Hussain also spoke over phone to his followers who had gathered in Karachi and Hyderabad to celebrate his bail extension.
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Accompanied by Nadeem Nusrat, Dr Farooq Sattar, Wasay Jalil and other MQM leaders, he expressed the hope that the authorities concerned would complete their investigations during the period of his bail extension. “As the investigations are going on I cannot offer any more comment,” he said. Altaf Hussain evaded a direct reply to a question whether he was quizzed by British investigators about the Dr Imran Farooq murder case.
“During investigations, several questions are asked [but] you can answer the questions you understand.” He said that he had complete faith in the investigations of Scotland Yard in the Imran Farooq murder case. “I have returned because of your prayers … don’t worry I will return again if they take me again,” he said to his followers. The MQM leader said his party would win the NA-246 by-election in Karachi. Talking to a news channel, MQM Senator and Mr Hussain’s counsel, Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif, said that there was no evidence against the Muttahida. He said that Mr Hussain was asked to come again in July. “We will contest [the charges] if the case goes to court [for trial].”
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In June last year, the MQM chief, who has been living in London for over two decades, was arrested over money-laundering suspicions. He was hospitalised because of his illness and after undergoing several tests he was interviewed by British investigators for nine hours. Later, he was granted police bail till December. Then the bail was extended till April. Earlier this month, another senior MQM leader, Mohammad Anwar, was arrested at his London home over money-laundering suspicions. He was released on the police bail the same day without any charges.