ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Azam Swati has filed a bail application claiming that he never posted ‘controversial tweets’ against the army.

In his bail plea, filed in the Islamabad High Court on Saturday, the PTI leader disassociated himself from the tweets and sought a post-arrest bail in the case registered against him for inciting mutiny in the army and defamation.

The petition stated: “The alleged tweets were not posted by the petitioner nor he has any intention to defame any respectable institution.”

In the petition, Mr Swati, who is also a member of the Senate, stated he was falsely implicated due to the ‘political influence of a hostile regime’.

After registration of the FIR, Mr Swati pleaded his physical remand was granted to the FIA and then handed over to Balochistan Police.

Says case was registered under influence of ‘hostile regime’

According to the plea, Mr Swati was facing eight ‘identical’ first information reports (FIRs) in Balochistan and 37 in Sindh.

It added that Balochistan High Court (BHC) and Sindh High Court (SHC) have already ordered to quash the FIRs. He pleaded he had applied for bail before the FIA’s special court but the judge dismissed the plea.

While rejecting Mr Swati’s previous bail plea, the judge observed he repeated the same offence of ‘maligning the armed forces’ while being on bail in an identical case.

In the petition, Mr Swati said he was 75 years old and suffering from heart disease and the case against him was based on a ‘documented allegation.’

There was no useful purpose of keeping him in judicial custody which, the petition stated, was tantamount to “pun­i­shment in advance” in offences for which the trial was yet to commence.”

The petition added the investigation has already been completed and Mr Swati was no longer required for the investigation “In such an eventuality, his continuous detention behind the bars will serve no useful purpose,” the petition pleaded.

Mr Swati has requested the court to grant him post-arrest bail till the conclusion of the trial.

The FIA arrested Mr Swati on November 27 for ‘defamation, statement conducing to public mischief and a highly obnoxious campaign of intimidating tweets.’

He was taken into custody after his fiery speech at the PTI’s long march in Rawalpindi where he lashed out at the military leadership.

Published in Dawn, December 25th, 2022

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