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Anchorperson Imran Riaz released after Lahore court discharges him in fresh case

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Anchorperson Imran Riaz released after Lahore court discharges him in fresh case

Sarwar Road police frees him after judge observes "no evidence" of Riaz obstructing public servant's duties.

The Lahore police on Friday released anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan after a local court discharged him from a fresh case in which he was arrested a day ago.

Riaz was taken into custody at the Allama Iqbal International Airport late on Tuesday night in a case of monetary fraud.

The visuals of the arrest, which showed the journalist clad in an ihram as he was departing for Saudi Arabia for Haj, had gone viral on social media, with the PTI calling for his release.

The police had sought his seven-day physical remand in Wednesday’s hearing before the Model Town Court judicial magistrate.






The prosecutor had said that the anchorperson had borrowed Rs0.25 billion from the complainant but never returned the money. After hearing arguments from both sides, Judicial Magistrate Muhammad Kamran Zafar reserved the verdict and granted police Riaz’s one-day physical remand.

Announcing the verdict on Thursday, the judge had discharged the anchorperson from the fraud case.

However, Riaz was later arrested outside the court in a separate case concerning interference with the police, which was registered at the Sarwar Road police station and said he had damaged a barrier near the Lahore airport.

Today, the anchorperson was presented before Judicial Magistrate Hafiz Kashif while Advocates Mian Ali Ashfaq and Rana Maroof appeared as his counsels.

The prosecution sought Riaz’s physical remand of 10 days “on the ground that remaining accused persons are to be arrested” based on the anchorperson pointing them out.

After hearing arguments from both sides and perusing the case record, the judicial magistrate discharged Riaz from the case.

In the written order, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the judge noted that there was “nothing on the record to suggest that the accused was driving a vehicle at the time of alleged occurrence”.

It observed that no statement of any of the eyewitnesses was recorded either.

“No evidence is available on the record to suggest that the accused Imran Riaz Khan used any assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duties,” the judge said, noting that the record was also silent about how the anchor had obstructed a public servant’s duties.

Observing that the evidence against Riaz was “deficient”, the judge ordered his release if he was not wanted in any other case.

Subsequently, the anchorperson was released by the Sarwar Road police.

Ashfaq released visuals of the anchor after his release on social media platform X.
 
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