Sarim Burney’s bail request rejected

FIA lawyer asks court not to release social worker as more evidence needed to be gathered against him

Social worker Sarim Burney gestures in this image from a video. — X/SBTIOfficial

KARACHI: Social worker Sarim Burney’s bail application was rejected by a local court in the port city on Tuesday in a human trafficking case.

Burney’s plea was rejected by Judicial Magistrate (East) Khaliq ul Zaman during the hearing of the case after the completion of arguments by the social worker’s lawyer and the Federal Investigation Agency prosecutor (FIA).

The FIA ​​lawyer asked the court not to release Burney as more evidence needed to be gathered against him.

“If the suspect is released on bail, it could affect the investigation,” the FIA ​​lawyer said, adding that the accused was resorting to continuous lies.

He added that other revelations were made during the investigation.

The FIA ​​lawyer told the court that the little girl Haya’s mother said she contacted the social worker to get her daughter back, but the social worker refused to return her.

Meanwhile, Burney’s lawyer argued that the FIA ​​had failed to properly investigate the matter.

“The parents who adopted the baby from the hospital handed him over to the Sarim Burney Trust,” he told the proceedings.

The social worker’s lawyer added that all legal requirements are met in the process of adopting children.

“The FIA ​​made allegations, but could not provide evidence,” the lawyer said.

Over the weekend, the court sent Burney to jail on remand, denying the agency’s request to extend his pretrial detention.

The social worker – who runs the Sarim Burney Welfare Trust International, a non-profit entity – was arrested on June 5 after landing at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi following his visit to the United States.

His arrest and remand in pre-trial detention by the FIA ​​follows charges against him, including human trafficking, human smuggling and illegally sending children to the United States, after US authorities brought complaint against him.

Burney is accused of smuggling a little girl named Haya into the United States, the FIA ​​said. Officials added that Burney bought the baby from his parents for Rs 1 million and sent him to the United States.