On Thursday, the Lahore High Court suspended a man convicted of being part of an international child pornographers nexus and released him on bail.
On 26 April 2018, a judicial magistrate awarded Saadat Amin of Sargodha seven years imprisonment under section 22 of the Electronic Crime Prevention Act 2016 and also levied a fine of Rs1.2 million on him.
The cybercrime cell of the Federal Investigation Agency had arrested Amin during 2017 on a complaint from the Norwegian embassy. The prosecution said the convict was an active member of an international racket operating online from Pakistan by involving children aged 10/12 years and used to broadcast their pornographic pictures/videos against monetary profit.
It said that over 650,000 pictures and videos related to child pornography have been retrieved from the hands of the prisoner.
It said Amin had glove hands with international child pornographers namely Jan Lindstrom in Sweden, Giovani Betotti in Italy, Max Hunter in the United States, Andrew Moody, and Mukhtar in the United Kingdom. Against the defendant, the organization provided 11 witnesses.
In an appeal before the high court, Rana Nadeem Ahmad, the convict’s counsel, argued that the agency’s investigation was wrong, as it failed to arrest or investigate the alleged foreign agent in Norway. The money the convict received from abroad, he said, was not against child pornography.
The attorney said the appellant had languished behind the bars since his arrest in 2017 while the high court had not so far decided on his main appeal against the sentence.
He ordered that the court suspend the sentence and release the appellant on bail as he was prepared to supply security bonds.
Justice Farooq Haider suspended the sentence after hearing the appellant ‘s counsel and released the convict on bail against two Rs200,000 security bonds each.