UK police cease investigation into Shahzad Akbar acid attack

LONDON: The UK police have ceased their investigation into the acid attack on Shahzad Akbar, the former federal minister and ex-adviser to deposed prime minister Imran Khan, which occurred last year.

A police source affiliated with counter-terrorism policing stated, “We have exhausted all avenues of inquiry and have been unable to ascertain any suspects.”

In November 2023, Akbar alleged that an unidentified individual had thrown acid on him at his residence in the UK, resulting in injuries to one side of his face and body.

The Hertfordshire Constabulary, responsible for policing Hertfordshire where Akbar resides, described the investigation as highly intricate. “Since November, our officers have diligently pursued leads to apprehend those responsible. However, despite our efforts, no suspects have been identified. Instances of this nature are fortunately uncommon in Hertfordshire, and ensuring the safety of any victim remains our primary concern. Should new information emerge, we will respond accordingly,” stated the police force.

Meanwhile, an intelligence source disclosed that the investigation into the acid attack had been closed due to the absence of suspects following a “dedicated inquiry.”

According to the source, the police explored multiple leads, scrutinized hours of footage encompassing the local area in Royston, yet failed to pinpoint any suspects.

Forensic analysis yielded no breakthroughs, and no substantial leads were uncovered, leading to the decision to terminate the investigation without further action.

Following the incident last year, the Herts police were alerted by an ambulance service to reports of an assault in Royston. “It is believed an acidic substance was employed. A 44-year-old man received medical treatment and has since been discharged. The safety of any victim is paramount, and we believe this to be an isolated incident,” remarked the police.

Prior to the attack, Akbar said that he had alerted UK law enforcement authorities of feeling endangered due to the Pakistani government being aware of his new address in Royston.

The former adviser had notified the police after receiving correspondence from the Cabinet Division regarding his involvement in the £190 million NCA properties settlement case and Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi’s Al-Qadir Trust case.

In response to the closure of the police inquiry without identifying any suspects, Akbar asserted, “I have already publicly identified those responsible for the attack on me, orchestrated at the behest of the Pakistani government. While the criminal investigation may be concluded, I am pursuing legal action, which I have already initiated.

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