Cyber Crimes Court grants video leaks suspect interim bail

ISLAMABAD: The Cyber Crimes Court of Islamabad on Tuesday granted interim bail to a suspected in the video leak case involving former accountability judge Mohammad Arshad Malik.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had extended Mr Janjua’s interim bail until today (Wednesday), with directions to seek relief from the trial court.

In his petition, Mr Janjua contended that the Cyber Crimes Court was not operational since its presiding officer was on leave. However, Deputy Attorney General Arshad Mehmood Kayani told the IHC on Tuesday that the law minister has assigned additional charge of the Cyber Crimes Court to anti-terrorism court judge Raja Jawad Abbas Hassan.

The IHC subsequently disposed of the matter with directions to the suspect to file a bail plea before the competent court of jurisdiction.

In an FIR registered under various sections of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca) with the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Cyber Crime Reporting Centre, Mr Malik claimed that an acquaintance of his, Mian Tariq, secretly filmed an “immoral video” of him while he was serving as the additional district and sessions judge in Multan and then sold it to people in the PML-N.

Mr Malik has alleged that a group of people, “including Nasir Janjua, Nasir Butt, Khurram Yousaf and Mehr Ghulam Jilani started to pressure me to help Mian Nawaz Sharif” who he had convicted in a National Accountability Court reference.

Mr Malik convicted Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference and sentenced him to seven years in prison on Dec 24, 2018.

The judge claimed he met with Mr Sharif in Jati Umra on April 6, 2019 and Hussain Nawaz in Saudi Arabia on June 1, 2019 due to fears that the “Multani video” would be exposed, while Nasir Butt pressured him for assistance in preparing grounds for appeal in the Al-Azizia and Flagship references.

In his petition, Mr Janjua said that there are primarily three allegations that bring the case within the ambit of Peca: securing a video of some person, releasing said video through any mode i.e. social media or otherwise in public and utilisation of said conversation, video, recording, etc in any manner derogatory to the provision of law on the subject.

His petition claimed that “all the above said allegations are not attracted or not even levelled to the extent of petitioner.”

The judge granted Mr Janjua interim bail against Rs500,000 in surety bonds and restrained the FIA from arresting him.

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