Shahid Aslam was given to the custody of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for two days by a court on Saturday after being accused of disclosing tax information about the family members of former army chief Gen. (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa.
According to sources, the investigation’s purview has been expanded, and a probe involving about a dozen chief commissioner-level officials has started.
The journalist argued in his defence that the accusations were “baseless” and mentioned his membership in several international journalist organisations.
The case was handled by Judicial Magistrate Umar Shabbir of a district and sessions court.
After listening to both parties arguments, the court withheld the judgement before making it public.
A prosecutor informed the judge during the hearing that Shahid Aslam was arrested by the organisation on Friday. According to his submission, the suspect is suspected of being involved in obtaining information from Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). The FIA asked for Aslam’s physical remand.
Shahid Aslam responded, “I’m a journalist, and I know my professional responsibilities.” The prosecutor stated that there was proof that Shahid Aslam had been involved in information leaks. In the meantime, the suspect denied all of the accusations and insisted that there was no proof against him because he had done nothing wrong. According to Shahid Aslam, he has been writing about FBR stories for a very long period.
The journalist argued that he had not taken nor conveyed any information, nor was he guilty of any of the four offences detailed in the first informant report (FIR) against him.
The journalist’s attorney asked the judge to throw out the charges against Aslam, but the prosecutor insisted that Aslam’s laptop and mobile device held the necessary evidence.