London police release top Pakistan politician

AP News
Posted: Jun 07, 2014 10:50 AM
London police release top Pakistan politician

LONDON (AP) — London police conditionally released one of Pakistan's best known politicians Saturday, but said they still are investigating him for alleged money laundering.

Altaf Hussain, 60, declared his innocence hours after the exiled leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement walked free on police-imposed bail conditions. Police said he must return to their custody next month for renewed questioning.

"I respect British laws and the judicial system. My lawyers are studying my case in accordance with the British laws. Truth will prevail by the grace of Allah," Hussain told supporters in Pakistan in a speech streamed online by his party.

Police arrested Hussain at his northwest London home Tuesday, sparking widespread business disruption and sporadic violence in his movement's power base in Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city.

London's Metropolitan Police say they are investigating the source of approximately 400,000 pounds ($675,000) seized last year during searches of London properties linked to Hussain's party, including his own home.

Following his arrest, Hussain spent three days in custody at a hospital receiving previously scheduled medical treatment, including an angiogram for suspected cardiovascular problems, his party said. Police finally questioned him Friday.

Hussain's party frequently has been accused of threatening and killing political opponents. His party denies this, even though Hussain himself has repeatedly targeted opponents and journalists with threats that they could end up in "body bags."

In a London-issued statement, his party appealed to followers in Pakistan to remain calm. It described the ongoing police investigation as "completely normal behavior in a democratic country."

Hussain's party primarily represents the descendants of Muslims who immigrated to Pakistan from India following partition in 1947.