Faisal Raza Abidi may surrender next week

Updated September 30, 2018

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Former senator Faisal Raza Abidi. — File
Former senator Faisal Raza Abidi. — File

ISLAMABAD: Former senator Faisal Raza Abidi, who has been booked by the capital police and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on the charge of defaming the Supreme Court and judges, is likely to surrender next week.

Sources in the capital and Karachi police citing their conversations with the family members and friends of Mr Abidi told Dawn that he would surrender to the police in the middle of the upcoming week.

A four-member team from the capital police raided different residences of the former senator in the limits of the Sachal and Taimuria police but he was not found there.

The police also used technology to trace the former senator through his mobile phone numbers but without any success.

On Saturday evening, another raid was conducted at one of his residences where his father informed the police that his son was in contact with the family through WhatsApp.

He quoted Mr Abidi as saying: “I will surrender to the police next week.” He also told the police that his son had contacted him from Sehwan Sharif.

However, it is not clear whether Mr Abidi will surrender in Karachi or Islamabad. The capital police sent its officials to Karachi to arrest the former senator on Friday.

“There are clear instructions from senior officers to arrest and bring him to Islamabad,” the officer said, adding the police would remain in Karachi until his arrest or further directives from their seniors.

Earlier, the capital police had approached the government of Sindh and sought permission and assistance to arrest the former senator, another police officer said. In response, the Sindh government gave the permission and assured the police of its assistance in the arrest.

The former senator was booked by the capital police on the charge of defaming the apex court and judges on Sept 19. The case was registered with the Secretariat police under different sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and 7ATA (Anti-Terrorism Act) in response to a complaint lodged by Shahid Hussain Kambyo, the public relations officer of the SC.

According to the FIR, a social media video became viral giving an impression as if an interview had been conducted by a woman posing herself as an anchor. In the video, the former senator is visibly seen and the identity of the woman can be ascertained during the investigation.

The FIR says the video went viral on social media and that the former senator was highly abusive, contemptuous, used threatening language and levelled allegations against government institutions which have been created via the Constitution. He also levelled accusations against individuals holding the highest constitutional posts.

The FIR says that via his speech, Mr Abidi created panic, scared the public and intimidated constitutional functionaries in order to stop them from discharging their constitutional obligations.

It says the language and words used by Mr Abidi come under the ATA 1997 which are punishable under the ATA and provisions of the PPC.

Another case was registered against Mr Abidi with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) under the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act 2016. The FIA cybercrime unit is also investigation the case.

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2018