Suicide or murder?: New evidence suggests Faisal was taking anti-depressants — (Express Tribune)

SSRI Ed note: Investigating officer in the high-profile rental power plants case takes antidepressants, hangs himself, family cannot believe he would commit suicide.

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Express tribune

By Umer Nangiana

Published: January 28, 2013

Police and hospit­al source­s say NAB offici­al was on medica­tion for over a decade.

Faisal, who held the position of assistant director at the bureau, was found hanging from the ceiling fan in his room at the federal lodge number 2.

ISLAMABAD: Just as the Supreme Court’s special bench on Kamran Faisal’s death case prepares to resume the hearing Monday, police and staff from the Poly Clinic Hospital revealed that the officer investigating the Rental Power Projects case was in fact on medication for a psychiatric condition.

Faisal – who was found hanging from the ceiling fan in his room on January 18 – was on anti-depressants and stress-reduction medication for over a decade and his family knew about his condition, revealed a doctor from the Poly Clinic Hospital.

The doctor, who requested anonymity, said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officer had been a regular visitor of the clinic’s psychiatry department since 1999 — almost seven years before even joining NAB in 2006.

“Yes, that is true. He has been a psychiatric patient since 1999,” the doctor said, adding that Faisal was a “sensitive person” and his doctor told his attendant that he could take an “extreme step” at any time in his life. However, the hospital official did not know the name of the attendant and the information could not be independently verified.

Meanwhile, a secretariat police officer told The Express Tribune that Faisal’s roommate at the Federal Lodge 2 (where he was found dead), NAB Assistant Director Sajid Ahmed, has testified that his colleague used to take medication but always tried to hide it.

He told the police that he saw Faisal taking medicines to relax whenever he looked stressed. However, he never shared with his roommate any medical condition that he might have been suffering from.

Ahmed was living with Faisal in his hostel room but had gone on leave a week before his death. Upon his return last week, Sajid was questioned by the police who asked him if he noticed his roommate taking any medicines.

The police found, among other evidence recovered from crime scene, medical records from the Poly Clinic Hospital which showed that Faisal was a regular visitor of its psychiatry department.

He had a prescription for muscle relaxants and anti-depressants signed by a Dr Azra. She was a junior doctor in the psychiatry department headed by Dr Najma Aziz who has already told the police she only checked Faisal once on October 12, 2012 and recommended some tests.

The police officer said he was not certain about Faisal’s visits to the hospital since 1999 but the police have found evidence that he was on certain medication.

One of Faisal’s senior colleagues, who worked alongside him for over six months, told The Express Tribune that he never noticed any abnormal behaviour. “No, I have never come across any abnormal behaviour in him suggesting he could be a psychiatric patient,” said the NAB officer. NAB Spokesperson Zafar Iqbal was not available for comment.

Meanwhile, NAB handed over Faisal’s service record to the Secretariat Police investigating his death which was declared a suicide by the medical board.

The record includes Faisal’s work on cases that he took up since joining the bureau besides his performance in the Rental Power Projects case. “It is the usual service record that departments maintain for their officers. It was requested for record keeping,” said a police officer.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2013.

Final autopsy report: NAB officer ‘Kamran Faisal’s death suicidal in nature’ — (The Express Tribune)

By Umer Nangiana


Published: February 17, 2013

A file photo of a forensic expert leaving the hostel room of Kamran Faisal. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD:National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officer Kamran Faisal committed suicide, a five-member board of doctors has declared, upholding the result of an initial autopsy report.

The final report, prepared and handed over to the Secretariat Police on Saturday, ruled out the possibility of the NAB officer being tortured or receiving any injury that could have caused his death.

“In its summary, the report clearly stated that Faisal’s death was suicidal in nature,” said an official of the police, who chose to remain anonymous as he was not authorised to discuss the confidential report.

Faisal, who was an investigating officer in the high-profile rental power plants case, which involved the prime minister, was found hanging from a ceiling fan on January 18.

The final autopsy report will be presented before the Supreme Court, which is currently hearing a case related to the officer’s death, on the next date of hearing.

The five-member board of Poly Clinic Hospital doctors, headed by Dr IU Baig, held three meetings after receiving the forensic report from the Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) Lahore on Wednesday. The board also consulted the head of the forensic department in the Rawalpindi Medical College hospital on the report, poly clinic spokesperson Dr Sharif Asturi told the media. However, he added he had no knowledge of the contents of the report as it was sealed by the board.

Faisal’s family had strongly opposed the initial autopsy report which ruled his death a suicide, saying he would never take his own life. The officer’s father had claimed that his son had “torture” marks on his hands and alleged foul play in his death.

The PFSA forensic report, however, ruled out that Faisal was given poison as no intoxicating material was found during the chemical analysis of his body’s organs. While the report mentioned that some marks were found on Faisal’s arm, it declared them not of serious nature.

“Some marks were found on his arm at the time of exhumation but were not visible at the time of post-mortem. They are not severe enough to disable any healthy person (to make him unconscious),” a police official, quoting from the final report, told The Express Tribune.

The PFSA report also mentioned that some DNA sample found on the rope with which the NAB officer was found hanged with the ceiling fan did not match with his neck. However, the police officer termed it as “nothing alarming”. “The rope was not properly preserved for the purpose of DNA as it passed through many hands that helped remove it from the dead officer’s neck, the police officer added.

The PFSA forensic report includes neither an analysis of Faisal’s clothes nor fingerprints that were taken from the scene.

After Faisal’s family and his colleagues raised doubts over circumstances surrounding his death, the PFSA, in a controversial move, exhumed his body, obtained his clothes and visited the crime scene for further analysis.

The Secretariat police also sent some samples of the NAB officer’s body abroad for an examination, the results of which are still awaited.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 17th, 2013.