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Islamabad court orders FIA to initiate inquiry against Cynthia Ritchie for tweets on Benazir

The additional district and sessions judge has directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to conduct an inquiry against US blogger Cynthia D. Ritchie for allegedly defaming former prime minister Benazir Bhutto on social media.

This development comes on Monday as the court was hearing a petition filed by PPP leader Advocate Raja Shakeel Abbasi, who demanded the registration of a criminal case against Ritchie.

The petition has been filed under Section 22-A of the Criminal Procedure Code, under which a judge may direct the investigation agency to register a first information report.

The ruling, issued by additional sessions judge Jehangir Awan today, noted that Ritchie had not denied that she had posted the tweet and “hence, a crime has been committed falling under Peca Act 2016”.

Read More : FIA summons Shoaib Akhtar over PCB adviser Tafazzul Rizvi’s complaint

The FIA is, therefore, “competent” to probe the matter further in accordance with the law.

“FIA is directed to proceed in accordance with the law, conduct an inquiry and if there is sufficient material, register an FIR”, says the court verdict.

Furthermore, the court also observed that the allegations against Benazir were made 12 years after the PPP leader’s assassination and that the US blogger “never agitated this fact before any competent authority and even not disclosed on the media”.

“So, at this stage after a lapse of 12 years, her [Ritchie’s] disclosure to malign the character of the deceased leader is apparently based on mala fide.”

On the other hand, taking it to social media, US blogger in a tweet said that “I just came to know @NasirKhaannn misrepresented me in court. I NEVER said my tweets were fake. We were supposed to file a criminal report today against Rehman Malik. Now, suddenly Mr. Khan is demanding 20 lakh rupees from me – even though this matter was managed by a 3rd party”.

Saman Siddiqui

Saman Siddiqui, A freelance journalist with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and MS in Peace and Conflict Studies. Associated with the media industry since 2006. Experience in various capacities including Program Host, Researcher, News Producer, Documentary Making, Voice Over, Content Writing Copy Editing, and Blogging, and currently associated with OyeYeah since 2018, working as an Editor.

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