Pakistan

Court resents absence of Ayyan in currency smuggling case hearing

RAWALPINDI: The court hearing currency smuggling charges against supermodel Ayyan Ali expressed resentment over absence of the accused and her lawyer during the case hearing on Thursday, ARY News reported.

The currency smuggling case proceedings against Ayyan Ali resumed after a break of four months today but the model and her counsel were absent from the hearing.

The Judge while expressing resentment asked when the accused will return Pakistan and what is her work schedule in the overseas.

The court refused to grant a request of the accused for permanent exemption from appearing in the case proceedings, adding that it will allow only one day’s exemption to Ayyan Ali.

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

A Customs court in November 2015 indicted Ayyan for attempting to smuggle out more than $500,000, to which she pleaded ‘not guilty’.

She was granted bail in July 2015 after spending nearly four months in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail — and after her judicial remand was extended at least 16 times.

Supermodel Ayyan Ali left for Dubai in a foreign airlines flight on February 23 this year after the Ministry of Interior removed her name from the Exit Control List (ECL) in compliance to a Supreme Court order on January 30, 2017.

The apex court in a verdict, allowed Ayyan Ali to travel abroad upholding the earlier verdict of the Sindh High Court (SHC), which had ordered the government to remove Ayyan Ali’s name from the ECL on January 19.

In its verdict, the SHC had stated that the interior ministry had put her name in the ECL with malafide intent.

Her name was repeatedly included and removed from the ECL. The model later filed a contempt of court application against the federal government for not allowing her to travel abroad despite the court’s order to strike her name off ECL.

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