Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai was ordered by a U.S. court on Wednesday to be put under house arrest under electronic surveillance with radio tag to be installed on his knuckles.
Kashmir-born U.S. citizen, Dr. Fai, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) last week on charges of working for the Government of Pakistan, in particular its spy agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), to lobby at the Capitol Hill and the Administration on Kashmir.
At his detention hearing, Magistrate Judge John Anderson at U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, ordered that Dr. Fai be released from prison on a personal bond of $100,000 and put under house arrest with electronic surveillance.
The 62-year-old Dr. Fai, headed the Kashmir American Council (KAC), which espoused the cause of Pakistan on Kashmir and campaigned against India in the U.S..
He has been asked to stay with his wife at the Fairfax residence in Virginia. Both he and his wife Chang Ning Ying Q, who is of Chinese origin, have been asked to surrender their passport.
Dr. Fai’s attorney told reporters afterwards that he could be released from the prison. However, no timing has been set yet.
“He would be released tomorrow. He would be in a position potentially to respond more fully to any allegations and questions,” Dr. Fai’s attorney Nina J Ginsberg told reporters after the court ordered his release.
“The release (order) has a lot of meaning. It means that he (Fai) can help more easily in preparing the defence.
He is required to live in his home and have electronic monitors so that he can’t go to any place that he is not permitted by the court to go. But he will be able to meet with his lawyers and be active in preparing defending his case,” Ginsberg said.
Ginsberg said Dr. Fai is facing two charges that have a five year maximum penalty, if he was convicted on both.
“It is highly unlikely that his sentence would be anywhere in that range,” the attorney said.
Giving details of the court’s order Dr. Fai’s another attorney Khurram Wahid said the separatist Kashmiri leader is allowed “home detention” with electronic surveillance.
“He will have a little electronic monitor around his ankle. The $100,000 (of the bail amount) he just signed for... It is just his word essentially and it is his wife who is signing for him. She is the third party guarantor here,” Wahid said.
“He (Fai) is obviously not allowed to have any contact with the foreign government (except through attorney). He is not supposed to have contact with anyone who is alleged in the affidavit who have had contact with him in the allegations itself, people who are supposedly with the ISI,” Wahid said.
Dr. Fai is also supposed to be limited in his activities in terms of he is allowed to visit his attorney and seek medical help.
“We will work it out with the pre-trial release as to the terms and things that he should be able to do and the schedule for him to be out of the house,” Wahid said.