Pak journalist arrested again after court ordered his release
Pak journalist Imran Riaz Khan arrested

Islamabad: A prominent Pakistani TV journalist, known for publicly supporting ex-prime minister Imran Khan and a vocal critic of the powerful army, was arrested again on Thursday, hours after a local court ordered his release.

Imran Riaz Khan was arrested near Islamabad by Punjab’s Attock district police on Tuesday night in a case filed against him last month for inciting violence and hatred.

He was presented before the court in Attock city on Wednesday and police asked for a three-day physical remand to probe him.

The hearing continued till 3 am and finally Judicial Magistrate Attock, Yasir Tanveer, reserved the decision, which was issued later in the morning, Geo News reported.

“The case in hand is not a case of sufficient evidence which connects the accused Imran Riaz with the commission of the offence as embodied in the crime report, therefore, the accused Imran Riaz Khan is hereby discharged from this case, the judge stated in the eight-page order.

Khan was arrested again after getting a major relief from the local court which ordered the police they release the detained journalist if he was not wanted in any other case.

The order said that the journalist should be released immediately if he was not needed in any other case.

The court also said that the police could continue the investigation if they collected enough evidence against the journalist.

Earlier, when he was brought before the Attock court on Wednesday, the judge declined to hear the matter because parts of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016 had been added to the FIR which was beyond his jurisdiction.

The anchorperson was then brought before Judicial Magistrate Rawalpindi, Muhammad Pervaiz Khan, who ordered that the accusations brought against him under the provisions of the PECA should be withdrawn and that the case be scheduled for hearing in the Attock court.

The Islamabad High Court had disposed of his petition with a direction to approach the Lahore High Court.

The journalist claimed that more than a dozen cases have been filed against him in various cities, involving charges like causing public mischief with intent to incite violence, circulating statements intended to create enmity, hatred, or ill-will in the society, defamation, and abetment under the Pakistan Penal Code and violating six different PECA sections.

The journalist is a known supporter of ousted prime minister Khan, and has been criticising the powerful army since the ouster of Khan through a no-confidence vote in April.

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