Mumbai: Three persons charged with looting a bank and later allegedly transferring a part of the booty for the hijack of Indian Airlines flight IC-814 in December 1999 were acquitted by a local court for lack of evidence and the prosecution's failure to prove the case against them.
The sessions court acquitted Abdul Latif and Bhopal man Yusuf Khan, who had been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for their alleged role in the hijack by a CBI court in Delhi in 2008, and one Mushtaq Ahmed.
According to the prosecution, the trio had on October 6, 1999, robbed Maharashtra State Co-operative bank in suburban Borivali and fled with Rs seven lakh cash.
They were arrested on December 30, 1999, and the police claimed to have recovered around Rs two lakh from them. The police also said they recovered AK-56 rifles, hand grenades and rocket launchers from the accused's house in Jogeshwari.
Two Pakistani nationals Asif alias Babloo and Haji Mohammad Iqbal were also arrested.
All of them were booked under sections 390 (robbery) and 120(b) (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, as well as under the Arms Act and the Explosives Substances Act.
While Asif and Iqbal pleaded guilty, the trio - Latif, Khan and Ahmed - faced trial. The court convicted Asif and Iqbal and sentenced them to eight years imprisonment.