ISLAMABAD: A special court of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Friday granted post-arrest bail to Senator Azam Swati in a case registered against him over a controversial tweet thought to be against the armed forces.

Special Judge Central Raja Asif Mehmood granted bail to Mr Swati against surety bonds of Rs1 million. The court, however, directed him to surrender his passport.

The FIA had arrested the PTI leader from his residence on charges of inciting mutiny. The FIR was registered under sections 131, 500, 501, 505, and 109 of the PPC and Section 20 of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act.

The prosecution apprised the court that Swati was continuously uploading such material on social media in which he accused the army of facilitating criminals. The prosecutor said the PTI senator had criticised the army chief and others through his verified Twitter handle. He argued that the suspect undermined the judicial system and also attempted to seduce army personnel from their allegiance to their duties.

In his concluding arguments, Swati’s counsel Babar Awan said his client had used the right of freedom of expression through his tweet. He accused the police of custodial torture and alleged the senator was humiliated under the custody of the FIA’s Cyber Crimes Wing. Earlier, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani issued production orders for Mr Swati, enabling him to attend the proceedings of the upper house.

Published in Dawn, October 22th, 2022

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