Treason case: LHC orders removal of Cyril Almeida's name from ECL, withdraws warrants
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2018-10-08 07:41:01

Treason case: LHC orders removal of Cyril Almeida's name from ECL, withdraws warrants

Former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Dawn Assistant Editor Cyril Almeida appeared before a full bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday for hearing of a petition seeking treason proceedings against the two ex-PMs and journalist.

As the hearing commenced, the three-judge bench comprising justices Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Atir Mahmood and Chaudhry Masood Jahangir ─ which had in the last hearing placed Almeida’s name on the Exit Control List and issued non-bailable warrants for his arrest for not attending previous court proceedings ─ ordered that the journalist’s name be removed from the no-fly list and the warrants withdrawn.

Dawn Assistant Editor Cyril Almeida and Editor Dawn Zaffar Abbas arrive at the LHC. ─ Photo courtesy Owais Tohid Twitter
Dawn Assistant Editor Cyril Almeida and Editor Dawn Zaffar Abbas arrive at the LHC. ─ Photo courtesy Owais Tohid Twitter

The newspaper editor, Zaffar Abbas, had already announced that Almeida is a law-abiding citizen and would definitely appear before the court on Oct 8. He said that the notice served on Almeida was delivered at Dawn’s Islamabad bureau in the middle of last week, and journalists and officials at the bureau said the earlier two notices were never delivered. Abbas is also in court today.

Sharif, who was recently released from jail after receiving bail in the Avenfield case, had also been absent from previous hearings as he had been receiving condolences over the death of his wife.

Sharif, Abbasi and Almeida’s attendance was noted and all three respondents were ordered to submit written replies to the court.

“What action has the government taken with respect to Article 6?” Justice Jahangir asked.

“This case is related to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra),” Deputy Attorney General Mian Tariq responded.

“Pemra’s job is to prevent broadcasts of speech. Taking action under Article 6 is the government’s job,” Justice Jahangir noted. He added: “This is a sensitive issue.”

Justice Naqvi ordered that the attorney general, who was not present today, attend the next hearing on Oct 22 and submit a complete report on the matter.

Security was tight around LHC premises, with a contingent of Rangers and police officials deployed outside the court, and greater vigilance at the entry and exit points of the court.

Dawn.com

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