Dr Shahid Masood arrested in PTV corruption case

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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Friday arrested Dr Shahid Masood from court premises after Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani dismissed his pre-arrest bail.

Masood, who is accused of being involved in the embezzlement of Rs38 million from state-run broadcaster Pakistan Television, was later shifted to FIA’s zonal office.

An Islamabad district court had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for the TV anchorperson. However, Masood had obtained an interim bail.

Last month, a special court had rejected Masood’s application for confirmation of interim pre-arrest bail. A few days later, the television anchor had challenged the special court’s decision in the IHC.

During Friday’s hearing, Masood’s counsel Shah Khawar argued that the anchor had not been nominated in the FIR [First Information Report] lodged for the case.

Meanwhile PTV’s lawyer Mohammad Nazeer Jawad told the court that Kashif Rabbani was also a suspect in the case, however, he had returned more than Rs10 million after his bail was denied.

Another suspect, Roshan Mustafa Gillani, also returned Rs8 million. The PTV lawyer told the court that both Rabbani and Gillani had said that the remaining amount was to be returned by Masood.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the judge dismissed the anchor’s appeal for a pre-arrest bail.

According to the prosecution, Dr Masood had signed an agreement with a fake company to negotiate with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for grant of rights to the PTV for coverage of cricket matches played in Pakistan.

The PTV had to face heavy losses because of the agreement.