Bajwa Leaks Case: Court Grants Bail To Journalist Shahid Aslam

Bajwa Leaks Case: Court Grants Bail To Journalist Shahid Aslam
An Islamabad court on Wednesday granted bail to Shahid Aslam — an investigative reporter suspected of leaking the tax data of former Chief of Army Staff Gen (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa’s family members.

Aslam's legal counsel Mian Ashfaque furnished his arguments to the opposing team comprising advocates Raja Qadeer Janjua, Ahad Khokhar, and Fiaz Kandwal.

On Monday (Jan 16), a the court sent Aslam to jail on judicial remand. The orders came in rejection to the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) plea seeking an extension in the journalist’s physical remand.

The agency had presented the journalist in the court of judicial magistrate Umar Shabbir after the completion of his two-day physical remand, which the court had granted to the FIA on 14 January.

Investigation officer, prosecutor Zulfiqar Naqvi, and Mian Ashfaque appeared in the court, where Aslam’s family was also present.

During the hearing, the court had questioned Naqvi regarding the case, who said that Aslam did not give the password of his laptop, and was not forthcoming with his answers. “Shahid Aslam was asked to cooperate and give the password, however, he refused,” he said.

He had also said that the laptop was sent to the data forensics department to acquire the password, and the forensics experts had said that they would retrieve the password in some days.

The prosecutor also claimed on the occasion that the accused had confessed taking data from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) of Pakistan. “The suspect has admitted to visiting the FBR to get the information, The FIA required the custody of the journalist to complete the investigation."

Meanwhile, the defense counsel had requested the court to discharge the journalist from the case. He said that Aslam’s WhatsApp status was “online” yesterday and the day before. “Aslam didn’t have his mobile phone, so how did the FIA officials access his phone when they didn’t have the password,” he asked.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the court had sent the journalist to jail on judicial remand, and rejected FIA’s plea for extending his physical remand. The court’s verdict said that the FIA’s reasons for extending the journalist’s physical remand were not satisfactory.

The judge ordered the FIA to produce Aslam before the court again on 30 January.