RAWALPINDI: Raja Asif Raza, sub-inspector of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) here on Monday obtained interim pre-arrest bail in a case involving allowing entry to Matthew Barrett, a blacklisted US national.
Special Judge Central (FIA) Naeem Arshad granted interim bail to Raja Asif till August 15th against surety bonds worth Rs100,000.
Raja Asif along with his son Constable Ehtashamul Haq and Barrett were booked in an FIR on August 6th when the US national managed to get entry into Pakistan at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport.
Raja Asif was shift in-charge of the FIA’s immigration team and his son was also on duty at the immigration desk.
In his bail plea filed through Advocate Raja Muhammad Nazeer, the FIA officer maintained that he was law abiding and a loyal citizen of Pakistan, and he could not even think of helping blacklisted foreigners in getting entry into Pakistan.
Advocate Nazeer, while talking to The Express Tribune said that the immigration officers at the airport always checked if a passenger had a valid visa and was not included in the ECL or the blacklist.
In case of entry of the US national, Advocate Nazeer said that Barrett had a valid visa duly issued by the Pakistan embassy in the United States.
He added that the FIA staff on duty put Barrett’s particulars in the system to check if he was included in the ECL or the blacklist, and the system cleared his name.
The lawyer said that it was system’s mistake.
He further contended that his clients Raja Asif and his son did not allow Barrett the entry intentionally.
The lawyer said that a second layer of immigration check after few minutes learnt that Barrett’s entry into Pakistan had been blacklisted.
He said that the FIA team started chasing Barrett and arrested him in no time.
It may be mentioned here that the FIA Immigration Cell had already obtained four-day physical remand of Barrett and Constable Haq.