Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Controversial tweets: Islamabad court extends Azam Swati's physical remand till Dec 3

Senior Civil Judge Muhammad Shabbir Bhatti approves Swati's lawyer's petition to not produce him in court

PTI senator Azam Swati being taken to court after being arrested in the controversial tweets case. -Screengrab
PTI senator Azam Swati being taken to court after being arrested in the controversial tweets case. -Screengrab

  • Court extends physical remand till December 3.
  • Court also approves lawyer's petition to not present Swati in court.
  • Judge says senator should be presented before court through video link.

ISLAMABAD: A court in Islamabad on Tuesday approved the four-day physical remand of PTI leader Senator Azam Khan Swati for controversial tweets against senior military officers. 

The PTI leader was once again arrested for speaking against senior military officers early Sunday morning from his farmhouse located in Chak Shahzad, Islamabad. He was later presented before a court which had approved Swati's physical remand for two days.

FIA’s Cybercrime Wing had arrested Swati for using foul language for the army chief and other senior military officers.

During the hearing today, Senior Civil Judge Muhammad Shabbir Bhatti announced the verdict, handed him over to the FIA till December 3. 

The court also approved the senator's lawyer Babar Awan's petition to not present Swati in court citing security concerns. 

"Azam Swati should not be produced before the court under further order," Judge Bhatti remarked. 

He said that Swati should be presented before the court through a video link in the next hearing. 

The prosecutor asked the court to write it in the order that Swati was not produced in court at the request of his lawyer. 

The FIA had requested a six-day physical remand of the senator for further investigation into his Twitter account and mobile phone. 

IHC's directives 

Meanwhile, Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered the deputy attorney general to seek directives from the home secretary on the cases against the PTI leader.

Swati had approached the IHC via a plea on Monday, fearing "custodial killing".

At the outset of the hearing of Swati's plea, his lawyer Babar Awan appeared before Justice Aamer Farooq.

"Azam Swati is currently in physical remand, while 50 cases have been registered against him across the country," Awan said.

He requested the court to seek the details of all cases against the PTI leader through the home secretary.

"Until all details regarding the cases against my client are not received, he shouldn't be given into anyone's custody," the lawyer requested.

He said that most of the cases against Swati are registered in Sindh and Balochistan.

At this, the court inquired how does the home secretary have control over the provincial inspector generals of police (IGP).

Responding to the question, Awan said that the home secretary has authority over the provincial IGPs.

At this, the court ordered the deputy attorney general to take directives from the home secretary.

"Check if the home secretary has the authority as it is being stated, and inform the court," the court said, before adjourning the hearing till Friday.