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October 16, 2020

‘Journalist’ escapes as court rejects bail in blackmail trial

Karachi

October 16, 2020

A man who claims to be a journalist escaped from the city courts on Thursday after his plea seeking bail in a case pertaining to extorting a female doctor was rejected.

The suspect, Syed Zaid, has been booked for allegedly harassing Dr Sobia Hussain, who works at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, in a bid to extort money from her. Dr Hussain stated in her complaint that the suspect, who identified himself as the chief editor of Urdu daily Peoples Life, used to publish defamatory articles in his newspaper against female doctors and paramedics.

“In 2019, he came to my office and said that if I want such articles to stop then I must start giving the newspaper advertisement,” she said, “He threatened that in case of my refusal, he will continue publishing libel pieces against me.”

She added that she had refused to give him advertisement on the account that the newspaper by the name of Peoples Life was not accredited by the relevant authorities. “He then demanded Rs100,000 from me but when I said I didn’t have enough money, he took Rs20,000 from me.”

She said Zaid continued with the defamation campaign against her and until now had extorted Rs600,000 from her. “His man, Yaqoob, would barge in my office and give me the newspaper carrying libel articles against me.”

On the other hand, the suspect moved the court of the additional district and sessions judge South, Aurangzeb Shah, seeking bail before arrest on the contention that the allegations against him were false.

The court, however, rejected his plea on the observation that prima facie the evidence against him were satisfactory to prove the charges. After the rejection of bail, the suspect escaped from the courts to avoid arrest. The case is registered under Sections 384, 500, 452, 506-B and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Saddar police station.