LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has dismissed an appeal against the convict in a child pornography case.
According to the details, the Lahore High Court has rejected the appeal against the sentence of seven years imprisonment handed down to the convict in the child pornography case. Therefore, the convict will now serve his sentence.
Justice Farooq Haider heard an appeal against the sentence of convict Saadat Amin, which was opposed by the federal government and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
Rana Nadeem Ahmed Advocate appeared in the court on behalf of the accused during the hearing.
The petitioner contended that at the request of Norwegian Police Liaison Officer Roy Landot, the accused was implicated in the case without any reason.
Petitioner’s counsel argued that the allegation that the offender had sent objectionable pictures and videos of minors to a Norwegian citizen was baseless.
Rana Mohammad Nadeem Advocate told the court that the trial court had sentenced the petitioner to seven years imprisonment despite insufficient evidence.
He further said that the convict has been in jail since 2017. The convict has already served 4 out of his 7 years imprisonment before the final verdict of the appeal.
Petitioner’s counsel further said that the trial court had convicted his client contrary to the facts, adding that the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act does not apply to the convict.
He said that the culprit did not make any child pornography video and also requested that the sentence of imprisonment given to the culprit be declared null and void.
However, Additional Attorney General Ishtiaq Ahmad Khan, representing the federal government, argued in court that there was solid evidence against the culprit.
The federal government’s lawyer requested that the appeal against the conviction of Saadat be rejected.
On the other hand, FIA counsel Moneem Bashir Chaudhry also opposed the appeal of the convict.
Note that on April 26, 2018, the Judicial Magistrate had 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.
However, on May 14, the Lahore High Court, on appeal against the sentence, suspended the sentence of the convict for being part of the international nexus of child pornography and ordered his release on bail, after which the accused was granted relief. There were massive protests on social media.
In addition, Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan had also said that the release of accused Saadat Amin, who made child pornography films, would be strongly opposed.
Sources in the Lahore High court later said that the written order of appeal is yet to be signed by the judge so it can be presented for re-hearing and unless signed, the judge can amend his order or withdraw it under the law.
Sources in the judiciary had said that Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed had also taken notice of the decision of the Lahore High Court and directed Attorney General Khalid Anwar to consider the matter.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Cyber Crime Cell arrested Saadat Amin in 2017 on a complaint from the Norwegian Embassy.
The prosecution had said that the culprit was an active member of an international racket run 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 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. Witnesses were also called.
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.