The Lahore High Court (LHC) has suspended the sentence of a man convicted of being part of an international nexus of child pornography and released him on bail.
Note that on April 26, 2018, the Judicial Magistrate had sentenced Saadat Amin from Sargodha to 7 years imprisonment under Section 22 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 and imposed a fine of Rs. 1.2 million.
Earlier, the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Cyber Crime Cell arrested Saadat Amin in 2017 on a complaint from the Norwegian embassy.
The prosecution had said that the culprit was an active member of an international racket which used children between the ages of 10 and 12 and send their pornographic pictures / videos abroad for financial gain.
It was also reported that more than 650,000 images and videos of child pornography were recovered from the possession of the perpetrator.
He said Saadat Amin had been in contact with international child pornographers, including John Lindstrom in Sweden, Giovanni Betotti in Italy, Max Hunter in the United States, Andrew Moody and Mukhtar in the United Kingdom, while the agency had 11 witnesses against the perpetrator.
In a petition filed before the Supreme Court, the convict’s lawyer Rana Nadeem Ahmed objected that the agency’s investigation was flawed because it failed to arrest or investigate the alleged foreign agent in Norway.
He said the money his client received from abroad was not in exchange for child pornography.
The lawyer said the petitioner had been behind bars since his arrest in 2017, while the High Court had not yet ruled on the central appeal against his sentence.
His lawyer requested the court to suspend the sentence of the petitioner and grant him bail in exchange for bail bonds.
Later, after hearing the appeal, Justice Farooq Haider suspended the sentence of the convict and granted bail in exchange for two bail bonds of Rs 2 lakh. Source
LAHORE: A judicial magistrate in April, 2018, awarded seven-year imprisonment to a man ‘Saadat Amin’ from Sargodha in the infamous child pornography scandal.
“It was the first case of its nature which was investigated by cyber-crime wing of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and lead to a punishment of only seven years according to Pakistan’s constitution, Asif Iqbal Chaudhry, Assistant director FIA Cyber crime wing told in a tweet.”
The magistrate, Muhammad Amir Raza Baitu, handed down the conviction on Saadat Amin under Section 22 of Prevention of Electronic Crime Act 2016 and imposed Rs1.2m fine on him.
The Federal Investigation Agency’s cyber crime cell had arrested Saadat Amin on the complaint of Norwegian embassy last year.
The FIA had told the court that the convict was an active member of international racket operating online from Pakistan by engaging children of 10/12 years of age. He used to sell the pornographic pictures/videos of the victims abroad.
FIA Assistant Director Muhammad Asif Iqbal, the investigating officer, told the court that more than 650,000 pictures and videos related to child pornography were recovered from the convict’s possession.
He said the probe revealed that Amin was hands in glove with the international child pornographers, Jan Lindstrom in Sweden, Giovanni Betotti in Italy, Max Hunter in the US, Andrew Moody and Mukhtar in the UK. The agency produced 11 prosecution witnesses against the convict.
The counsel for the convict had argued that the FIA carried out a faulty investigation into the matter and failed to arrest or investigate the alleged foreign agent in Norway. He said the money received by the convict from abroad was not against the child pornography.
The magistrate, however, observed in his verdict that the prosecution had established its case beyond any doubt and the prevention of electronic crimes act was fully attracted against the Amin.
The FIA claimed that it was the first-ever conviction in any child pornography scam in Pakistan.
The Federal Investigation Agency’s cyber crime wing had arrested Saadat Amin, 45, from Sargodha in early April of 2017 and took his computer and laptop in custody.
“During interrogation Amin had revealed that he had been selling child pornographic content online for the last few years. Amin used to lure children on the pretext of imparting computer education. He even paid between Rs3,000 and Rs5,000 to the parents of the victims, saying that their children would learn computer hardware and software (skills) at his one-room rented workshop in Sargodha,” a report in this newspaper had revealed in 2017.
The FIA had launched a probe into the matter on being informed by Norwegian Embassy through a letter that the country’s police had arrested a man in connection with the child pornographic content and that Saadat Amin was one of his accomplices in Pakistan. Working on the information provided by the Norwegian Embassy, the FIA had tracked the suspect down.