Pak court quashes charge of `mischief` against high-ranking retired Army general
a PakistanThe court on Thursday quashed the charge of causing mischief against a senior retired army general and ordered his immediate release from police custody.
Lieutenant General (Retd) Amjad Shoaib, a prominent supporter of the former Prime Minister Imran Khan, was arrested by Islamabad police on Monday after an initial information report was registered against him. Shoaib, who was accused of inciting the public against national institutions, was detained by police for three days.
Shoaib was arraigned before a district and session court at the end of his three-day pretrial detention. Additional hearings Judge Tahir Abbas Supra presided over the hearing.
His lawyer Mian Ashfaq called the case “fake” in his speech, as the accused did not target any community in his TV speech. “He supports the statement he made during the TV program. We stand by our statement,” said the lawyer.
The lawyer went on to say that the late night TV program in question ended at 11pm and none of the army personnel or officials came forward to file a complaint the next day.
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When asked by the court to clarify his statement, the general said he was speaking in a historical sense and not asking people to riot. “I was talking about the history of sit-ins and rallies never getting anywhere,” he said.
Although the prosecution tried to extend the case, the judge went into a short break after hearing the arguments and later announced the verdict by dismissing the charges against Shoaib, stating that “there was no confirmed evidence to support charges for provisional detention”.
The FIR had invoked sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups, etc.) and 505 (statements leading to public mischief) of the Pakistan Penal Code by alleging that the retired general had made statements that “incited government officials to and incite the opposition to fulfill their governmental and legal duties”.
Shoaib has been a regular face on Pakistani TV talk shows in recent years and is better known for his controversial remarks.
He had previously been summoned by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to appear on September 7 last year after alleging that there had been a meeting between the Pakistani prime minister and an Israeli team. However, he did not appear for the FIA’s Cybercrimes Wing.
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