ISLAMABAD: A local court on Saturday handed over former managing director and chairman of Pakistan Television (PTV) Dr Shahid Masood in the custody of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for five days for interrogation in a corruption case.

The FIA had produced the accused before senior civil judge Amir Aziz Khan and sought his physical remand for 10 days.

Investigation officer Kashif Awan told the court that the FIA needed custody of the accused from the very beginning, but he never joined the investigation. He said that the accused had escaped from the courtroom soon after his pre-arrest bail plea was dismissed and since the case pertained to financial embezzlement a lot had remained to be investigated.

The FIA official replied in the affirmative when the judge inquired if the request for the remand had been made for the first time.

Then the judge granted the five-day phy­sical rem­and and directed the investigators to get the medical check-up of the accused conducted. Sub­sequently, the FIA shifted the accused to its regional office.

According to the investigation, Dr Shahid Masood is allegedly invo­lved in embezzlement of Rs37 million when he was the managing director and chairman of PTV while acquiring PCB media rights in 2008 as the agreement was carried out with a fake company namely M/s ISS.

The investigators clai­med that PTV lost millions of dollars as it failed to acquire PCB media rights from 2008 to 2013.

Talking to newsmen before leaving the courtroom, Dr Shahid Masood termed his arrest the “start of a crackdown on media”.

“From now onwards, the crackdown has formally been started on media,” he said and claimed that the similar “crackdown on social media” was imminent after his arrest.

The FIR against Dr Masood was registered on the complaint of PTV controller-administration Moh­ammad Pervaiz against Kashif Rabbani, the former marketing manager.

It said that PTV negotiated with the PCB for media rights for its network for Rs30m to M/s ISS and Rs7m was paid to M/s Deans Creation Lahore for acquiring media rights of the UAE cricket series for the years 2008-2011 for PTV.

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2018

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