PTI’s Ali Amin Gandapur remanded to police custody for 1 day

Published April 9, 2023
PTI leader Ali Amin Gandapur was presented in an Islamabad court on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV
PTI leader Ali Amin Gandapur was presented in an Islamabad court on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV

An Islamabad judicial magistrate on Sunday remanded PTI leader Ali Amin Gandapur into police custody for a day in a terrorism case related to threatening the government and national institutions.

Gandapur, a former federal minister and PTI’s central leader, was arrested on Thursday night outside the building of the Peshawar High Court’s Dera Ismail Khan bench — on charges of two criminal cases registered against him by the D.I. Khan police — after an hours-long drama and sent to the central jail on a six-day judicial remand.

On Saturday, the Islamabad and Punjab police from Bhakar reached Dera Ismail Khan and took the PTI leader to Islamabad.

The first information report (FIR) registered against Gandapur mentions an audio leak, in which he could purportedly be heard using derogatory language against the federal coalition.

Earlier today, Gandapur was presented before Duty Magistrate Naveed Khan. Footage from outside the court showed the PTI leader being escorted by the police while his head was covered with a cloth.

The hearing

At the outset of the hearing, the government lawyer read out loud the charges against the PTI leader, saying that Gandapur’s remarks had created fear among the institutions. “The charges against him are very serious.

“He talked about taking over Islamabad and using weapons,” the lawyer stated, adding that the PTI leader deserved to be sent to jail for life for such comments.

On the other hand, Gandapur’s lawyer Babar Awan argued that the accusations against Gandapur were “baseless” and questioned the veracity of the audio clip attributed to him.

“A number of audio clips emerged featuring Maryam Nawaz and even judges … were cases registered against them as well?” he asked. “[Indian spy] Kulbushan Jadhav can’t be punished in this country, but [they] have opened a case against Gandapur.”

Awan further said that there were several “spaces” where fake voices could be made without elaborating further.

“My client was arrested two days ago. He has been remanded twice since his arrest,” the lawyer said, pointing out that as per the law, only a senior magistrate could approve Gandapur’s remand.

He recalled that journalists Imran Riaz and Siddique Jan were arrested on similar charges.

Awan then contended that Gandapur should not be remanded in police custody for more than 24 hours, while the government lawyer said that the case fell under the jurisdiction of the anti-terrorism court and not the judicial magistrate.

Subsequently, the judge remanded Gandapur into police custody for a day and instructed the police to present him before the Islamabad ATC tomorrow (Monday).

The case

On April 8, a case was registered against the PTI leader at Islamabad’s Golra police station under section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

The first information report (FIR) also invoked sections 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against Pakistan), 121A (conspiracy to commit offences punishable by Section 121), 122 (collecting arms, etc., with intention of waging war against Pakistan), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code and section 16 of Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) ordinance.

According to the FIR, an audio was aired on a private news channel in which the two persons talk about weapons. In the clip, Gandapur could also be heard threatening the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and saying that his supporters would take over Islamabad.

Besides, he also threatened the police in the message, the complaint added.

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