ISLAMABAD: As the Supreme Court commences on Thursday (today) the hearing on the video speech containing derogatory remarks and threats against Justice Qazi Faez Isa and other judges, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Wednesday furnished an interim report highlighting that Rawalpindi-based cleric Mirza Iftikharuddin had denied making the speech on anyone’s instigation or direction.
A two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan will resume the hearing of the case initiated on a suo motu over the viral video containing derogatory, contemptuous and scandalous language against the institution of the judiciary and the judges.
The cleric owned up to the contents of the lecture he gave to over half a dozen faithful on June 14 (a week before the SC decision on the petition of Justice Isa against the filing of presidential reference against him).
In its report furnished through FIA director (law) Malik Tariq Mehmood, the investigation agency stated that Mirza had already deleted the video from YouTube and Facebook. It added that the FIA had also got the custody of Mirza and his accomplice Akbar Ali on physical remand till July 6.
The report explained that the IP addresses used by the accused persons for uploading the video have been traced and the concerned ISPs have been approached to provide the subscribers detail of the internet devices through which IP addresses were accessed. According to the FIA, the operators concerned have also been approached to obtain Character Detection and Recognition (CDR) and subscriber’s details of the SIMs in use of the two suspects to further unearth their probable nexus with other co-accused.
Only a day ago, Mirza submitted an affidavit before the Supreme Court, tendering an unconditional apology for ‘unintentionally’ uttering some words against honourable judges in a ‘private meeting’.
On the basis of the video clip, Justice Isa’s wife on June 24 lodged a case at the Islamabad Secretariat Police Station, complaining that death threats were being hurled at the judge of the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the FIA in its report stated that the investigation on the basis of FIR No 3 of 2020 under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorist Act (ATA) read with sections 34, 500, 505 and 506 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and Section 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act (Peca) had been entrusted to a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) comprising Assistant Directors Khurram Saeed Rana, Mohammad Azmat Khan and Adnan Khan of CCRC and FIA’s counterterrorism wing inspector Raja Wajid Hussain.
During the course of investigation, two suspects Mirza and Akbar were arrested from whom an iPhone, a Samsung mobile phone, a Q-Mobile phone, a movie camera and a laptop were recovered and sent for forensic analysis.
The video speech was shown to both suspects and they had been thoroughly interrogated, the report said.
According to the FIA, the cleric claimed to be associated with Imam Bargah Qasre Abbas, Morgah, Rawalpindi. He has owned the contents of the video lecture and stated that his responsibility was to preach Islamic teachings. Besides, he admitted that he had been running ‘Iqra’ channel, a web TV, since 2017 in one of the rooms of his residence. His accomplice Akbar recorded his lectures and uploaded/managed his Youtube channel and Facebook page, the report said.
The FIA said Mirza admitted that on June 14, after Namaz-e-Maghrebain, he addressed six or seven namazis of the locality, where his assistant Akbar and Rasool Shah were also present. Akbar recorded the speech through the movie camera, edited and uploaded it without his consent on Youtube channel having URL: https://www.Youtube.com/channel/UCvUDG19AzcExacicaNqPPJW and Facebook account having URL web.facebook.com/mirza.iftikharuddin?rdc=1&rdr.
Mirza claimed when he came to know about uploading of the video, he immediately asked his aide to delete it. However, Akbar claimed that he became frightened and deleted the video when one of the page followers of Mirza Iftikhar told him that this act amounted to contempt of court.
Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2020