Requests to be forwarded by GoI by US
Srinagar: A Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) request has been sent by the J&K Police for the United States seeking the preservation of data on Facebook and Twitter accounts of journalist Shujaat Bukhari, killed by Lashker-e-Taiba last month, which will be followed by Letters Rogatory for handing over the data, officials said.
The request under the MLAT was sent to the Home Ministry which will route it to the United States through legal and treaties department of the Ministry of External Affairs soon, they said.
“We believe that there are threatening messages sent to him on social networking sites from Pakistan which will help the police in nailing all the conspirators behind the killing of the journalist,” an official said. Facebook and Twitter are based out of the US and so is the Google, which runs e-mail services. The preservation of data and subsequent transfer will give us more leads into the case, the officials said.
Both the US and India are signatories to an MLAT since 2005 which enables the two countries to pursue their common objective of law enforcement of putting in place a legal mechanism to enable them to provide to each other assistance in connection with the investigation, prosecution, prevention and suppression of crime including those relating to terrorism, narcotics, trafficking, economic and organised crime.
The treaty shall include taking the testimony or statements of persons; providing documents, records and items of evidence; locating or identifying persons or items; serving documents etc.
The officials said a Letters Rogatory for handing over the data as part of evidence will be sent later once the trial begin in the case.
On June 14, Bukhari, the editor-in-chief of a local English daily ‘Rising Kashmir’, was shot dead outside his office in Srinagar. The police has named banned militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba in the attack and identified the killers as Naveed Jatt, a Pakistani national who escaped from custody in February this year, Azad Ahmed Malik and Muzafar Ahmad Bhat, both Lashkar operatives.
The police have also named Sajad Gul, a resident of Kashmir who is now based in Pakistan, as one of the conspirators in the killing of Bukhari.