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Roshan’s conviction was based on flawed evidence, says brother

mumbai Updated: May 27, 2010 01:13 IST
Indian olive trader

The family of the Indian olive trader, who was convicted of terror charge and sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in jail by a Spanish court last year, has alleged that the conviction was based on flawed evidence.

Roshan Jamal Khan (51) was detained on suspected terror charge from a mosque in Barcelona on January 19, 2008, when he went there for on a business tour. In December 2009, an anti-terrorism court in Spain convicted Roshan and 10 Pakistani men for “belonging to a terrorist group” that planned to bomb the Barcelona Metro.

On Wednesday, Roshan’s brother Mehboob called for a press conference to show the footage of a video that the Spanish court had accepted as the main evidence in the case.

“It is the interview of Moulvi Mohammed Umar, the spokesperson of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan,” Mehboob said.

As the interview is in Pushtu language, it was subtitled for the Spanish court. But the subtitles wrongly claimed that Umar said that those arrested were “our 12 men”.

Dr Najib Ur Rehman, an expert on Pushtu, said at no point does Umar say this. “There has been some tampering as the transcript of the video also doesn’t show the ‘our 12 men’ part.”

The video was provided to the Spanish court by an American NGO, NEFA. Advocate Parvez Ubharay pointed out that the person who had shot the interview was neither named nor examined. Moreover, Mehboob said, the prime witness in the case made several flip-flops in his testimony.

“He forgot the name of their leader which he corrected later. He also wrongly said they were Al Qaeda men,” Mehboob said, adding that the court accepted this testimony despite it appearing to be tutored.

The family is waiting for Roshan’s appeal hearing to come up before the Spanish Supreme Court.