Evidence in Delhi embassy bombing suggests journalist was framed

Part One — Gareth Porter reports: New Delhi police officials have released hundreds of pages of documents from their investigation into the Feb. 13 bombing of an Israeli Embassy car. The documents aimed to show that a well-known Indian Muslim journalist aided an Iranian conspiracy to plan and carry out the bombing.

But a review by IPS of the evidence filed in the case suggests that the Indian journalist accused in the case has been framed by the police, at least in part to implicate the Iranians in the terror plot.

The “charge sheet” on the embassy car bombing filed by the “Special Cell” (SC) of the Delhi police July 31 claims Indian journalist Syed Mohommed Ahmad Kazmi confessed to helping officials from Iran plan the bombing plot in return for payments totalling 5,500 U.S. dollars.

It also says that a moped used for reconnaissance by the Iranian said to have carried out the bombing was found in Kazmi’s residence and that forensic bomb-making evidence was discovered in the hotel room of that same Iranian.

But an analysis of the documentation included in the filing reveals that the evidence is highly questionable.
The SC has a long history of cases against alleged terrorists that were rejected by the court as involving framing people and planting false evidence. [Continue reading…]

Part Two: The “Special Cell” of the Delhi police has identified an Iranian, Houshang Afghan Irani, as the man it believes carried out the Feb. 13 car bombing at the Israeli embassy in New Delhi that injured the wife of an embassy official. The police believe three other Iranians were also involved in the plot.

But major questions about the integrity of evidence put forward to prove the existence of an Iranian bomb plot cast doubt on that claim, which is the centrepiece of the Israeli accusation that Iran has been waging a campaign of terrorism against Israelis in as many as 20 countries.

Only Indian journalist Syed Mohammed Ahmad Kazmi has been officially charged in the case, and even the treatment of Irani and the other Iranians as suspects depends very heavily on “disclosure statements” supposedly made by Kazmi but denounced by the journalist as police fabrications.

Although the Special Cell (SC) also claims to have forensic evidence of Irani’s link to the bombing, the evidence appears to be tainted by improper police procedures.

A central problem for the SC case is that it has no eyewitness testimony for its contention that Irani planted the bomb on the Israeli embassy car. [Continue reading…]

Part Three: The Delhi Police Special Cell, which has accused an Indian journalist and four Iranians of conspiring to bomb an Israeli embassy car in Delhi Feb. 13, has a long history of planting evidence on those it has accused and of obtaining false confessions, according to court records now cited by critics of the police unit.

The Special Cell (SC) was organised in 1986 to investigate terrorism and major crimes, but it has been given such wide latitude in its operations that it has violated legal norms with complete impunity, critics say.

But the unit’s efforts to frame those it accuses have been so obvious – often employing the same tactics over and over again – that a significant majority of its cases have been rejected by judges in recent years.

Of the 174 individuals against whom the SC has brought charges from 2006 through 2011, 119 of them – nearly 70 percent – have been acquitted, according to official figures obtained under India’s Right to Information Act by activist Gopal Prasad.

The SC response to that development has been to leak false confessions and evidence to the news media in a largely unsuccessful effort to sway judges. [Continue reading…]

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