RAWALPINDI : A customs, taxation and anti-smuggling court yesterday rejected the acquittal plea of model Ayyan Ali in money smuggling case.
The court has summoned the model on November 12 for indictment. Special Judge of customs, taxation and anti-smuggling court, Rana Aftab Ahmed Khan announced the 6-page verdict dismissing the accused model’s plea after hearing the arguments from both parties.
Earlier, Ayyan Ali along with her lawyer appeared before the court. The supermodel appeared in the court and requested it to allow her to leave for Karachi. The court had said that she had already appeared before it and she could leave for Karachi is she had to.
Ayyan Ali departed for Karachi following the court’s remarks. Earlier, Sardar Latif Khan Khosa on last hearing had argued before the court that his client was not involved in the currency smuggling case and had been kept in jail for four months without any reason.
Pakistan Customs lawyer Farhat Lodhi opposed the arguments and said that evidence clearly showed that Ayyan Ali was involved in the currency smuggling case. He had pleaded the court to reject her acquittal plea.
Meanwhile, the lawyer of Ayyan Ali filed a petition with court on behalf of the accused model in which he stated that customs investigators have tampered the case record and requested the court to take action. However, the judge returned the application to the accused and said that the court would look into the matter.
Sardar Latif Khan Khosa expressed his deep resentment over rejection of acquittal plea and pledged that he would challenge the verdict in appellate tribunal as per section 46 of Anti-Smuggling Act 1976 even before the date decided by customs court to indict Ayyan Ali.
He said that the customs investigations have tampered with the evidence of the case. He demanded forensic examination of the recovery record. “I think the customs investigators tampered the case record with the alleged help of court staff,” Khosa suspected.
He said that some hidden powers are roping Ayyan Ali in the case in a bid to target some respected politicians.
Ayyan Ali arrived in the court premises amid tight security and a huge number of her fans were already present there. Interestingly, an old lawyer announced his deep love for the accused model and pledged to provide her full legal support.
Ayyan Ali was arrested on charges of money laundering earlier in March this year after being caught with USD 506800 by customs officials at Islamabad’s Benazir Bhutto International Airport.
The supermodel was granted bail in July after spending around four months in Rawalpindi’s notorious Adiala Jail and after her judicial remand was extended 16 times.
Sadar Latif Khosa had earlier said his client had been arrested on false charges of money laundering. He said the Customs Act lacked interpretation of attempted money laundering. He said the petitioner had not been allowed to record her statement after the arrest, which was mandatory under Section 139 of the act.
The counsel said the petitioner had told the investigators at a very initial stage that she had got the money by selling property. He said the petitioner had carried the money to the airport to hand it over to her brother who was arriving from Dubai the same day.
He further said that Ayyan is an honourable girl and that she was framed in this case under a ‘conspiracy’.