NIA to examine top foreign service official

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is planning to examine a high-ranking foreign services official to prove its case that Subhani Haja, a former Islamic State (IS) recruit from Kerala, had fought against the Iraqi government after joining the banned organisation.

The agency, which had sought time to reopen the evidence in the case, submitted before the special judge on Friday that it was planning to bring in more evidence to prove that Haja had waged war against Iraq. The agency planned to examine an official of the Indian Embassy who had worked in Iraq during the time in which Haja had allegedly waged war against that country.

In quarantine

Though the official was willing to depose before the court, the process had to be put on hold as he went into quarantine following COVID-19 outbreak in the area where he was residing, the agency submitted.

On a question from the NIA judge whether the evidence could be collected through videoconferencing, the agency submitted that the official could depose only through the telecommunication facilities set up at his office.

V.T. Raghunath, the counsel for the accused, said he would not object to the agency bringing in more evidence at this stage of the case. The defence team would look into the evidence to be submitted by the foreign services official during the deposition, he said.

The case is that the accused joined the IS at Iraq and fought for the banned outfit. He was the only person who reportedly joined the proscribed organisation and returned to the country. The court posted the case for September 16.

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