ASI Zahoor Ahmed convicted for 3 years on charges of espionage

In order to teach me a lesson Agency official planted this story: Zahoor Ahmed

Islamabad   -  ASI Zahoor Ahmed of Police Station Golra Sharif has been convicted for offense under Sections 3 and 4 of The Official Secret Act 1923, sentenced to a term of 3 years RI, and acquitted in the charge of 409 PPC, ATC-II & Official Secret Act Judge Tahir Abbas Sipra read the verdict at Federal Judicial Complex, Islamabad on Saturday. ASI Zahoor Ahmed along with his lawyer Imran Feroz Malik was present in the courtroom when the verdict was announced by Judge Sipra. Badge mates of Zahoor Ahmed were also present when the verdict was announced. SI/IO Counter-terrorism wing of FIA and Jawad Adil Hussain special prosecutor were also present. FIR No 40/2021 was registered against Zahoor Ahmed on 13-12-2021 under Sections 3 and 4 of the Official Secret Act 1923 which pertains to sharing sensitive government information and communications with enemy or foreign agents. Zahoor was accused of meeting a Russian Diplomat in Blue Area, Islamabad. When the meeting was over, Zahoor was apprehended by Sardar Azmat, A.D. CTW/FIA. Zahoor Ahmed was formally charged on 27-05-2022 and the trial started against him. Nine prosecution witnesses were presented during the trial, read the verdict. (The Nation has a copy of the judgment). Two mobile sims, two cell phones, two ATM cards, 3 USBs, and cash of Rs 50,000 were recovered from Zahoor Ahmed. During the trial, Zahoor Ahmed stated in his statement of 342 that, “I conducted a raid on an SPA on the directions of Sania Pasha, Assistant Commissioner Islamabad a registered FIR No 799/21(The Nation has a copy of the FIR). In said FIR Ahmed Haseeb security Personal from Armed Forces was also apprehended. Who after arrest went hostile against me and upon his direction, I was picked up by the Agency on 29-11-2021 and was kept in unlawful custody. When the renowned journalists raised their voice for me I was released on 13th December” His statement further said, “. I was called by my SHO in his office, and when I reached P.S. Golra I was handed over to unknown persons again who muffled my eyes and took me to one place; thereafter I was shifted to another car and eventually taken by the FIA.”  “All such has been done on the instruction of Major Ahmed Haseeb, who felt ashamed about the registration of FIR against him. In order to teach me a lesson, he planted this entire story, the things mentioned in the question were handed over to me by the persons available in the car and nothing objectionable has been recovered as such.”  Adv. Imran Feroz Malik, lawyer of Zahoor Ahmed argued before the court that, the main witness of the prosecution was declared hostile as he never supported the prosecution’s version. No classified information was ever found in any of the mobile phones or devices of the accused.

The provision of any sensitive information to any alleged foreign agent could not be proved. The alleged Foreign Diplomat/Agent had already been transferred from Pakistan before the occurrence. The forensic reports managed by the prosecution do not even support the version. The evidence produced is full of doubts and is even self-contradictory. The benefit of the doubt always goes to the accused, how much slightest the same is.  In the detailed judgment, it is also stated that the number of the same diplomat was present in the phone of the accused to which defense counsel argued that the accused exchanged the number during his posting at Diplomat Enclave being a police official but no evidence either oral or documentary was produced to establish this plea. It was also claimed by the prosecution that the deleted letters found in the phone of the accused were about threat alerts and security arrangements as well as the special measures taken for the eradication of these threats. As per instructions “Security of classified matter in Government Departments” issued by the Cabinet Secretariat, the documents are classified in Top Secret, secret Confidential, and Restricted categories. The defense argued that it is very common practice that these letters are circulated generally and were present with the accused in the normal course of job nature. At the end of the judgment, it is stated that the prosecution has produced sufficient and cogent evidence to establish the charges leveled against Zahoor Ahmed.

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