ISLAMABAD: A judicial magistrate on Tuesday issued a detailed order explaining reasons for dismissal of a post-arrest bail plea of former minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed in an FIR registered against him for accusing former president Asif Ali Zardari of hatching a murder conspiracy against PTI Chairman Imran Khan.
The bail plea was rejected on Monday.
At the hearing, an investigation officer submitted the case record to the court.
Opposing the bail petition, the prosecutor said Sheikh Rashid had claimed in his statement that services of some terrorists had been hired for the conspiracy. He said it was a very big statement since in the history of Pakistan, former prime ministers, including Benazir Bhutto and Liaquat Ali Khan, had been murdered.
He said the allegation was levelled against a former president and it could have serious consequences, adding that such irresponsible statements could spread unrest in society.
The prosecutor told the court the attitude of Sheikh Rashid in the custody was “extraordinary”, alleging that the former minister had tried to influence the court proceedings with the statement regarding his previous positions. He said the accused might flee if he was granted bail.
Sheikh Rashid’s lawyer Sardar Abdul Raziq argued that his client had only given the reference of Imran Khan’s statement and declared it correct. He claimed that the FIR was registered against his client before airing of his statement.
He requested the court to grant his client bail as he had to take part in elections. He alleged that the legal team was not allowed to meet the accused in jail.
The judge observed that Sheikh Rashid had accused Mr Zardari of hatching murder conspiracy, used objectionable language against foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and repeated the same on different occasions and it was aired/broadcast in electronic and social media. Subsequently, the court dismissed his petition.
Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2023
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