Court directs FIA to register case against Cynthia Ritchie

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ISLAMABAD: Additional District and Sessions Judge (ASJ) Jahangir Awan on Monday directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to register a case against US blogger Cynthia Ritchie who has levelled harassment allegations against the PPP leadership.

The petitioner, PPP Islamabad President Shakeel Abbasi on Saturday had filed a petition stating that Ritchie had made baseless allegations against ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto and a case should be registered against her.

During Saturday’s hearing, Ritchie’s lawyer had asked the court not to file the case.

The FIA and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had requested the court to dismiss the plea against the US blogger.

The FIA had told the court that the petitioner was not the targeted victim or guardian of the victim so the agency could not lodge a complaint. On the other hand, the counsel for the petitioner argued that due to the nature of tweets, the PPP was the aggrieved party.

To this, the court asked why the heirs of late Benazir Bhutto were not lodging a complaint.

In her video message earlier this month, Ritchie had accused senior PPP leader Senator Rehman Malik of abusing her and said that the incident happened in 2011 when Malik was interior minister.

She had also claimed that former health minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin had also abused her, while former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani shook hands with him while he was in the Presidency.

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