Child pornography case: Govt hints at challenging court ruling
The federal government has hinted at challenging the Lahore High Court’s decision in which the court suspended the child pornography accused and granted him bail.
Yesterday, the Lahore High Court suspended the sentence of a man convicted of being part of an international nexus of child pornography and released him on bail.
On April 26, 2018, the Judicial Magistrate sentenced Saadat Amin from Sargodha to 7 years imprisonment under Section 22 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 and imposed a fine of Rs. 1.2 million. ۔
Now the spokesperson of the Attorney General of Pakistan confirmed that the federal government was preparing to challenge the decision of the Lahore High Court.
He further said that the court order regarding the release of the accused was broadcast only on the media but so far no formal order has been issued by the Lahore High Court.
He said that on the contrary, a letter was received from the Assistant Registrar of the Lahore High Court in which the case would be heard again on May 19.
“This means that no order has been issued for the release of Saadat Amin,” he said.
A spokesman for the Attorney General of Pakistan said that “in the May 19 hearing, the federal government will strongly oppose the release of the accused as he has been convicted in a very serious crime.”
The Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Cyber Crime Cell arrested Saadat Amin in 2017 following a complaint from the Norwegian embassy.
The prosecution had said that the culprit was an active member of an international racket which use children between the ages of 10 and 12 and send their pornographic pictures / videos abroad for financial gain.
It was also reported that more than 650,000 images and videos of child pornography were recovered from the possession of the perpetrator.
He said Amin was in contact with the international child pornographers, including John Lindstrom in Sweden, Giovanni Betotti in Italy, Max Hunter in the United States, Andrew Moody and Mukhtar in the United Kingdom.
In a petition filed before the Supreme Court, Rana Nadeem Ahmed, counsel for the accused, had objected that the investigation conducted by the agency was flawed as it failed to arrest or investigate the alleged foreign agent in Norway.
He asserted that his client had not received money from abroad for child pornography.
Over the past few years, there has been a dramatic increase in child abuse cases, including the case of Zainab Ansari, who was killed after being subjected to brutal rape.
Exactly 2 years after the heinous crime, the Zainab Alert Recovery and Response Act 2019 was unanimously passed in the National Assembly.
The bill was produced in the National Assembly by Federal Minister for Human Rights Shirin Mazari in June last year.
It should be noted that 6-year-old Zainab, a resident of Kasur, went missing on January 4, 2018 and her body was found in a rubbish bin on January 9, after which there was intense protest and outrage erupted across the country.
On the other hand, complaints related to cyber crimes are also increasing drastically.
Director Cyber Crime FIA Muhammad Afzal Butt said that 10 more centers have been set up in the country, bringing the number to 15.
He said that centers have been set up in Quetta and Gwadar in Balochistan province, Karachi Hyderabad and Sukkur in Sindh, Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Rawalpindi in Punjab, Peshawar, Abbottabad and Dera Ismail Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan and Islamabad.
It should be noted that Facebook, Twitter and other companies do not have offices in Pakistan, and the FIA has to contact the US offices of these companies to get the required information as a result of any cyber complaint.
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