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Ayyan Ali arrest warrants issued again

06 June, 2017

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A Rawalpindi customs court on Tuesday issued bailable arrest warrants for supermodel Ayyan Ali, who was indicted in a case of currency smuggling, since she has not appeared in court since December last year. The court also ordered that the model be present in court on June 21.

Ali's name was removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) earlier this year. During a hearing of her case last year, the model said she was required to travel abroad for professional assignments and medical treatment, and since she had been released from jail on bail, her name should be struck off the ECL.

Ali's counsel in court today requested the model be permitted temporary absence due to her mother's illness. The request was dismissed the court, and the judge, Justice Muhammad Shiraz Kayani inquired whether the model planned to return to Pakistan at all.

He noted that the last time Ali had appeared in court was Dec 17, 2016, and that she had been granted 12 leaves of absence. He added that although the Supreme court had allowed her to travel abroad, she had not bee exempted from appearing in trial court.

Ali’s lawyer brought up former president Pervez Musharraf’s case, upon which the court remarked that the two cases must not be compared as they are completely different. The case may hold special importance for the public, but it is just another case for the court.

A customs court in Nov 2015 indicted Ayyan for attempting to smuggle more than half a million dollars in cash out of the country, to which she has pleaded not guilty.

The model was arrested on March 14, 2015, on charges of money laundering after customs officials recovered $506,000 from her luggage at Islamabad’s Benazir Bhutto International Airport before she could reportedly board a flight to Dubai.

She was granted bail in July last year after spending around four months in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail — and after her judicial remand was extended at least 16 times.

The case against the model took a political turn when the airport entry pass of the personal assistant to a former president was cancelled for allegedly trying to facilitate Ayyan’s suspected attempt to smuggle money.

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