terence j sigamony

Islamabad-The Supreme Court yesterday directed the model Ayyan Ali to cooperate with the investigation team probing the murder of Customs Inspector Chaudhry Ejaz Mehmood.

The officer was shot and injured by two unidentified men outside his house in the Waris Khan area on June 2, 2015. He died two days later. Mahmood was in-charge of the PIA cargo air freight unit state warehouse at Benazir Bhutto International Airport in 2015 and was the person that took official custody of the currency recovered from Ayyan in March 2015.

The wife of the deceased, Saima Ejaz believes Ayyan is responsible for the murder of her husband.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Amir Hani Muslim hearing the case, also extended the stay against the arrest warrants of the model till September 21.

Additional Prosecutor General Punjab Ahmed Raza Gillani informed the court that a government officer had been killed during his duty therefore this case should be tried in the Anti-Terrorism Court.

Latif Khosa, representing the model, contended that the Punjab Law Minister personally handling this case. He said the interior ministry and the Punjab government officials wanted to implicate his client in the case, while Ayyan has nothing to do with the murder of Customs officer.

The counsel requested that the investigation should not be conducted in police station as the police would harass his client, adding the investigation should be held in any neutral place. Upon Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan said then should we order that all police stations be closed.

Justice Hani inquired from Ayyan’s counsel why did she has come to top court directly instead of approaching the proper forum. Khosa replied that the august court and the Sindh High Court had given verdicts in Ayyan’s favour but the authorities were reluctant to comply them. He said if they will go to the proper forum then arrest warrants would be cancelled. Justice Hani told him to get the pre-arrest bail.

However, the counsel contended that the government wanted that Ayyan Ali go missing or killed like Qandeel Baloch. Khosa said the Magistrate could not summon Ayyan. Justice Ejaz said the Magistrate has power to summon any accused person.

Lawyer of Saima Ejaz told that the Ministry of Interior had placed Ayyan’s name on ECL on the complaint of his client therefore she should be made party in the case. He said still the police have not recorded Saima’s statement, adding the case was registered against Ayyan when his client moved an application to Justice of Peace under section 22A of PPC.

Deputy Advocate General Punjab, Mudasir Khalid Abbasi, however, informed that Saima’s statement had been recorded and the case is also registered. Justice Hani inquired from the DAG why Customs superintendent Zargham and Dr Haroon, a doctor in Benazir Hospital, Rawalpindi, have been arrested so far. The DAG Punjab told that they have joined the investigation, therefore they were arrested.

Magistrate Gulfam Butt on July 21 had issued arrest warrants of Ayyan and two Pakistan Customs officials — Zargham and Dr Haroon —in connection with the killing of a customs inspector, who would have been a key prosecution witness in the money laundering case against the supermodel.

Justice Hani in the short order said that on 22-07-16 they have heard the petitions of Ayyan Ali against the Ministry of Interior for placing her name on ECL, the Secretary Interior’s application against SHC for issuing contempt of court and Saima’s petition regarding murder of her husband.

The judge said as these petitions were fixed for September 21 therefore they would hear this petition along with them and adjourned the case.