ISLAMABAD: A district and sessions court on Friday sent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Chaudry to Adiala Jail on a 14-day judicial remand in a case over “inciting violence against a constitutional institution”.
The PTI leader was arrested from Lahore on Wednesday on charges of sedition for “threatening” the chief election commissioner (CEC) and members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Following this, an Islamabad court had handed Fawad over to the police in a two-day physical remand.
As the remand ended today, he was produced before the court of Judicial Magistrate Waqas Ahmed Raja amid tight security.
At the outset of the hearing, the police requested the court for a further seven-day physical remand of the ex-minister.
The prosecutor, who is also the commission’s lawyer in the case, reading the text of the first information report (FIR) registered against the PTI leader, noted the language used against the CEC and caretaker Punjab chief minister.
He said that they have matched the voice of the suspect with Fawad Chaudhry’s and a photogrammetry test is to be conducted. “More recoveries are still to be made,” he said, seeking further physical remand of the PTI leader. “The accused has also admitted to the speech before the court on the previous hearing.” The prosecution remarked that Fawad may be a senior politician but “no one is above the law”, adding that it is necessary to search his house and recover his laptop and mobile.
The PTI leader’s counsel Advocate Babar Awan responded that “Fawad Chaudhary is not a terrorist”.
“The EC has made itself a government,” remarked the lawyer, saying that the ECP’s job is to conduct elections. “If the Election Commission is the plaintiff in a case against me, how can I ask them for justice in the elections?”
Speaking in front of the court, Fawad said that his words “are not just his own but they are the party’s words and communicates the PTI’s stance”. He also produced the CCTV footage before the court, saying that his arrest is “illegal”.
“I was neither arrested by the Lahore police nor the Islamabad police,” he claimed, alluding that the ruling coalition and the establishment were behind his arrest. His lawyer added that Fawad Chaudhary had been “kidnapped”.
Subsequently, the court approved Fawad’s request to stop the police from handcuffing him in the courtroom.
The court also rejected the plea for an extension in his physical remand and sent Fawad for a 14-day judicial remand to Adiala Jail.
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