LAHORE: The Lahore High Court registrar office on Wednesday rejected a plea filed by model Ayyan Ali seeking the cancellation of her arrest warrants. In an objection attached to the petition — that Ali had submitted through Advocate Aftab Ahmad Bajwa — the high court registrar said that the case cannot be fixed for hearing as the model is not in the country.
Ali, who is indicted in a currency smuggling case, was declared a proclaimed offender by a special court last week after she failed to appear despite multiple summons by the judge. She has not appeared before the court since 2016. The trial court also ordered confiscation of her assets.
In the petition, Ali says that she wants to appear before the trial court to prove her innocence in the case. Her lawyer said that Article 10-A of the Constitution ensures right of a transparent trial to every citizen of the land and requested the court to suspend the arrest warrants.
He added the non-appearance of the petitioner before the trial court was neither deliberate nor intentional but due to her illness.
The counsel urged the court to accept the petition and set aside the impugned orders of the trial court and allow the petitioner to submit fresh surety bonds and appear for trial.
Ali was arrested on March 14, 2015 for allegedly attempting to smuggle $506,800 in cash to the United Arab Emirates by the Airports Security Force personnel at Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad. Her name was linked to high-profile politicians and it was alleged that she was a conduit for their money laundering operations.
The government had also placed her name on the Exit Control List but a Supreme Court bench headed by former chief justice Saqib Nisar allowed her to goabroad in 2017.