Senator Swati's physical remand extended by four days

IHC tells deputy attorney general to refer to interior secy regarding control over provincial IGs


Saqib Bashir November 29, 2022
PTI senator Azam Swati. PHOTO: Express/Saqib Bashir

ISLAMABAD:

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Azam Swati’s physical remand was extended by an additional four days on Tuesday after he was taken into custody for the second time for tweeting against senior military officials.

Judicial Magistrate Muhammad Shabir heard the case against Swati's "controversial" tweets in a district and sessions court.

Swati's lawyer Babar Awan’s request to exempt the senator from appearing before the court was accepted. Awan maintained that the senator cannot be presented due to “threats” against his life.

To this, Special Prosecutor Rizwan Abbasi stated that the matter of Swati’s absence from court on the request of his lawyer should be written in the order.

The prosecutor said that they intended to bring Swati to court, but the court instructed the Federal Investigation Agency's (FIA) lawyer to mark his attendance through video link.

The court maintained that there was no need for Swati to be at the next hearing but that he should appear via video link.

The case was adjourned till Saturday.

IHC petition

Earlier today, Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Amir Farooq heard Swati’s petition filed a day earlier against multiple cases registered against him and concerns of torture.

The lawyer stated that Swati was currently on physical remand with 50 cases registered against him across the country.

He requested that the details of all the cases against the senator should come through the interior secretary and maintained that until all the details came forth Swati should not be handed over to anyone.

Read 'Pakistan's Dark Age': PTI, others condemn Senator Azam Swati's arrest

The court inquired how the interior secretary controlled the provincial inspector generals (IG)? However, Awan affirmed that the IGs were controlled by the interior secretary.

The court ordered the deputy attorney general to take instructions from the home secretary.

It also ordered him to investigate the claim of how the interior secretary was controlling the IGs.

The court adjourned further hearing of this case till Friday.

A day earlier, Swati had approached the IHC to obtain details of the cases filed against him in Sindh and Balochistan.

In a plea, Swati stated that after being handed over to the FIA on physical remand, he came to know about other cases.

The plea stated that he was released on bail in another similar case. He was also subjected to the worst torture during detention, he added.

Swati said that he has reports that he could be killed and subjected to any kind of inhuman treatment in custody.

When presented in court, it was found that a case had been registered in Quetta, he said, adding that cases had also been registered in various police stations of Sindh.

He requested in the petition that the details of the cases registered against him be sought.

Swati held again

PTI Senator Azam Swati was taken into custody two days ago for the second time after a raid at his farmhouse in Chak Shahzad by the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Cyber Crime Wing Islamabad for allegedly tweeting against senior military officials.

He was later produced before a judicial magistrate, who handed him over to the FIA on a two-day physical remand.

Besides, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) prohibited the broadcast and rebroadcast of Swati’s speeches, news conferences and his media coverage, including as a guest at a talk show, statements or tickers, on all satellite TV channels with immediate effect.

An FIR against Swati was registered by the FIA Cyber Crime Wing on November 26, a copy of which was available with The Express Tribune, over ‘controversial’ tweets he had posted recently, allegedly against government functionaries, including the chief of the army staff (COAS).

The report maintained that the PTI leader had started a “highly obnoxious campaign of intimidating tweets” against state institutions, including the army chief “with malafide intentions and ulterior motives”.

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