Child pornography racketeer released on bail

Updated May 15, 2020

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More than 650,000 pictures and videos related to child pornography were recovered from the convict’s possession. — DawnNewsTV/File
More than 650,000 pictures and videos related to child pornography were recovered from the convict’s possession. — DawnNewsTV/File

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Thursday suspended sentence of a man convicted for being part of an international nexus of child pornographers and released him on bail.

A judicial magistrate had on April 26, 2018, awarded seven-year imprisonment to Saadat Amin of Sargodha under section 22 of Prevention of Electronic Crime Act 2016 and also imposed a fine of Rs1.2 million on him.

Federal Investigation Agency’s cybercrime cell had arrested Amin on the complaint of Norwegian embassy during 2017. The prosecution said the convict was an active member of international racket operating online from Pakistan by engaging children having age of 10/12 years and used to transmit their pornographic pictures/videos outside the country against monetary benefit.

It said more than 650,000 pictures and videos related to child pornography were recovered from the convict’s possession.

It said Amin was having hands in gloves with international child pornographers namely Jan Lindstrom in Sweden, Giovani Betotti in Italy, Max Hunter in US, Andrew Moody and Mukhtar in UK. The agency produced eleven witnesses against the convict.

In an appeal before the high court, the convict’s counsel Rana Nadeem Ahmad argued that the investigation held by the agency was faulty as it failed to arrest or investigate the alleged foreign agent in Norway. He said the money received by the convict from abroad was not against the child pornography.

The counsel said the appellant had been languishing behind the bars since his arrest in 2017 while his main appeal against the sentence had not so far been decided by the high court.

He asked the court to suspend the sentence and release the appellant on bail as he was ready to furnish surety bonds.

After hearing the appellant’s counsel, Justice Farooq Haider suspended the sentence and released the convict on bail against two surety bonds of Rs200,000 each.

Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2020