Judge on leave: Ayyan’s remand extended once again

LHC hears model’s bail application today; charge-sheet likely to be presented on August 3

Qaisar Sherazi July 13, 2015
This is the 16th time the model was sent on judicial remand since her arrest. PHOTO: NNI

RAWALPINDI: A banking court on Monday extended model Ayyan Ali’s judicial remand in the money laundering case till July 27.

This was the 16th time the model was sent on judicial remand since her arrest from Benazir Bhutto International Airport with $500,000 on May 14, 2015.

The model was presented before Banking Court Judge Sabir Sultan since the Customs Court Judge Rana Aftab Ahmed Khan has gone on leave.

Customs prosecutor Muhammad Amin Feroz requested the court to formally charge the suspect with the crime. The judge, however, said he was a duty judge and charge-sheet against the money-laundering suspect could only be presented in the Customs court.

Ali’s counsel Nasir Abbas requested the court to extend the model’s judicial remand till August 3, when the Customs judge is scheduled to return to work. The judge said the judicial remand could not be extended for more than 14 days and thus fixed July 27 as the next hearing.

Officials have reportedly charged the model with currency smuggling. The defence team is expected to plead not guilty and will likely produce private witnesses in the case.

Hearing into Customs Intelligence’s plea for registering a new money-laundering case against the suspect has also been adjourned till August 3.

After the hearing, the model told Daily Express that she wanted to host an Iftar for all of the inmates in Adiala Jail but was not allowed by the jail authorities. About the reports linking her to some political personalities, she said: “I am a professional model and have no relationship with any political personality.” She refused to comment further on the case saying it was sub judice.

Meanwhile, a Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench, comprising Justice Anwarul Haq and Justice Arshad Mehmood Tabassum, will hear Ayyan’s bail application today (Tuesday).

Two bail applications have already been rejected by the Lahore High Court Rawalpindi Bench and the Lahore High Court. Ali’s lawyer Sardar Latif Khosa, however, was hopeful that the bail application would be accepted this time.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2015.