Journalist allegedly involved in Gen Bajwa’s tax data leak sent on physical remand

Journalist allegedly involved in Gen Bajwa’s tax data leak sent on physical remand

By Chronicler


A court in Islamabad has awarded two-day remand of a journalist to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in General (Retired) Bajwa’s tax leak case.

The journalist Shahid Aslam was presented before the court of judicial magistrate Umar Shabeer in Islamabad Hatchery.

The special prosecutor of the FIA informed the court that the accused in the case obtained information from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) pertaining to General (Retired) tax data. The prosecutor said that after obtaining this information, he forwarded them to abroad.

The FBR requested the court for a grant of physical remand because the federal agency was getting material on how this information was shared.

The court inquired on this occasion from the accused whether he got anything to say.

Shahid Aslim denies charges: Aslam denied the charges which are leveled against him and termed them baseless. He said he has worked for international media organizations for quite a period in his journalistic career.

The special prosecutor told the court that another accused in the case had implicated the journalist in his statement to the agency. He also told the court that the accused journalist had not provided the password of his cellular phone and laptop.

Responding to a court question, the special prosecutor stated that the law allows to the investigation of the matter like it is under the Official Secret Act.

The legal counsel of the journalist Advocate Gulbaz Mushtaq argued that Aslm has been kept by the FIA in illegal custody for the last 24 hours.

The prosecutor of the FIA said that both accused during interrogations have revealed that they have contact with the FBR.

Defense counsel argues against remand plea: The defense counsel said that the plea of remand is not requested on mechanical grounds. He said the court should see what has been the progress of the prosecution during the 24 hours.
He said the accused in the case is a journalist, and the prosecution is demanding from him about his source of information.

He said there is no evidence that his client had provided the information to the website which had carried the tax data of General (Retired) Bajwa.

He said the prosecution only has a statement recorded under section 161, which isn’t enough ground for granting remand.

He said four crimes had been mentioned in the FIR, and none could be linked to his client.  The defense counsel argued that it was a matter of release of the client. Shahid Aslam told the court that neither had he obtained any information nor forwarded it to someone else.

FIA prosecutor says the arrest warrant was obtained: On the other hand, the special prosecutor of FIA told the court that first, the arrest warrant was secured, and later, the accused was arrested. He said the accused wasn’t giving the password to the laptop.

A renowned journalist Matiullah Jan said that if the laptop’s password is disclosed, there would be threats of lives to many persons.

Matiullah Jan, later on, the court approved the request of the journalists to speak on the rostrum. Matiullah Jan said that no legal proceeding could be initiated against a journalist under Article 19. He was of the opinion that there would be life threats to many persons if mobile phones revealed the source of the news item. He said the entire journalistic fraternity would be at stake.

Another known journalist Aizaz Syed said that arrest of Shahid Aslam would make fun of the country in the world.

Court grants two-day remand: Later on the court approved two-day physical remand of the journalist and handed his custody to the FIA.


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