Islamabad trial court approves bail of journalist Asad Toor

islamabad trial court approves bail of journalist asad toor – The News Mill

ANI Photo | Islamabad trial court approves bail of journalist Asad Toor

In a relief for Pakistan journalist Asad Toor, the Islamabad trial court on Saturday approved his bail in a case about an online campaign against the judiciary, Dawn reported.
The Pakistan-based news daily reported that the Pakistan caretaker government had established a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe an alleged social media campaign against the judiciary following the Supreme Court’s ruling that stripped PTI party of its bat symbol.
According to the FIR (first information report), Toor was booked under Sections 9, 10 and 24 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca), which deal with the offences of glorification of an offence, cyber terrorism and cyberstalking.
The FIR stated that Toor “built a false narrative” and publically launched a “malicious/obnoxious and explicit campaign” against “civil servants/government officials and state institutions”.
This investigation led to the questioning of journalist Toor by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials for nearly eight hours on Feb 23, despite previous assurances to the Supreme Court that no action would be taken against journalists before the general elections. Toor was later arrested on Feb 26 and faced charges under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act for allegedly launching a malicious campaign against state institutions, leading to his being remanded into custody and eventually to jail.
As the case developed, the Islamabad High Court intervened, ordering an expedited bail hearing for Toor, which had been postponed to March 18 due to the investigating officer’s illness. This legal drama unfolded amid calls from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) for Toor’s immediate release and an end to his harassment, highlighting concerns over freedom of expression and the press in Pakistan.
Today, Special Judge Central Humayun Dilawar conducted the hearing of the case. The petitioner, Toor, was represented by Advocates Imaan Mazari-Hazir and Hadi Ali Chatha.
The investigation officer of the case and FIA prosecutor, Ashfaq Hussain Shah were also present in court with the relevant case records, Dawn reported.
In today’s hearing, Advocate Chatha submitted the Supreme Court’s observation that journalists should not be booked over a social media campaign against superior judges.
At this, Judge Dilawar asked the investigation officer of the case and the FIA prosecutor if the Supreme Court’s observation being referred to was true. “Yes this observation is true,” the FIA official told the court.
Subsequently, the court accepted Toor’s bail plea against surety bonds of Pakistan currency (PKR) 5,000.
Reacting to the development, journalist Hamid Mir stated that Toor’s bail approval proved that “all allegations were a pack of lies”.
In a post on X, he said, “Judge Humayun Dilawar ordered the release of journalist Asad Toor today but what about those who registered a fake case against the journalist?
“What about the 10-day physical remand given to FIA for the investigation? What about the anti-state allegations in the FIR? It is now proved that all allegations were a pack of lies.”
Barrister Ahsan J Pirzada lauded Toor’s counsel for the approval of Toor’s bail plea.
“Alhumdullilah, 20 days after his arrest, Asad Ali Toor has been granted bail by the FIA court. Congrats to everyone, especially Imaan Hazir and Hadi Chatha. The way they both fought, despite numerous hurdles, is a testament to their courage, determination, professionalism and friendship,” he posted on X.

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