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Anchorperson Shahid Masood petitions top court for bail in PTV case

January 09, 2019

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Anchor says he is innocent as FIA has not been able to bring any charges against him. — File
Anchor says he is innocent as FIA has not been able to bring any charges against him. — File

Anchorperson Shahid Masood on Wednesday petitioned the Supreme court to procure bail in a case pertaining to the embezzlement of Rs38 million from state-run broadcaster Pakistan Television.

On December 23 last year, Masood was arrested from the court by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) after the IHC dismissed his petition.

According to the FIA, Dr Masood — during his tenure as managing director and chairman of PTV — was involved in the embezzlement of Rs37 million in acquiring Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) media rights in 2008. Allegedly, the agreement was carried out with a fake company — M/s International Sports Solution (ISS). The investigators claim that funds were also released, causing the loss of millions of dollars to PTV as the state-run television channel failed to acquire PCB media rights from 2008 to 2013.

Masood, in his petition, said that he is an analyst and a critic of governmental policies. "My blunt analysis has always made me a target of governmental institutions," the anchor said in his petition.

"FIA had shut the case but then it was reopened in 2015. Suspects Kashif Rabbani, Fawad Shabbir and Roshan Gilani are all facing trial and have also started paying back the embezzled amount," he added.

The anchor further accused the FIA of harassing him and not being able to come up with any proof against him. "They used my inability to leave the country as a means to obtain arrest warrants [for me]," Masood said in the petition.

Masood added that the IHC rejected his bail without clearly looking at the facts of the case as his name "was not mentioned in the first investigation report".