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Present-cause notices issued over technical defects in Abbasi’s indictment

by News Updater

KARACHI: An accountability courtroom has issued show-cause notices to the Nationwide Accountability Bureau and judicial officers over ‘technical defects’ in framing of cost in a reference in opposition to former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former finance minister Miftah Ismail and former Pakistan State Oil (PSO) managing director Sheikh Imranul Haq, it emerged on Tuesday.

NAB in Dec 2019 had filed a reference within the liquefied pure fuel (LNG) import contract case in opposition to 10 accused, together with Mr Abbasi, Mr Ismail and Mr Haq.

Sources advised Daybreak that an accountability courtroom in Rawalpindi took up the matter final week to border expenses in opposition to the nominated suspects by video hyperlink from Karachi.

The Rawalpindi accountability courtroom (AC) had requested the executive choose of the accountability courts in Karachi, Abdul Ghani Soomro, to make preparations for the indictment and recording of the statements of the nominated suspects earlier than an accountability courtroom in Karachi.

The indictment proceedings had been supervised by a clerk in Karachi as a substitute of courtroom registrar

The sources mentioned that Karachi’s Accountability Courtroom-II Decide Aaliya Latif Unnar presided over the proceedings by video hyperlink for framing of the cost in opposition to the previous premier and different suspects. All of the suspects had been current, they added.

The Rawalpindi AC choose indicted all of the suspects, who pleaded not responsible and opted to contest the case.

Nevertheless, judicial sources advised Daybreak that your complete course of grew to become “defective” because the proceedings on the courtroom in Karachi had been supervised by a decrease division clerk as a substitute of the registrar, or assistant registrar, of the ACs as per frequent apply.

The sources mentioned that the judicial workers and a particular public prosecutor, who’s deputed by NAB, additionally didn’t receive signatures on sure paperwork, which is required below the regulation.

Due to this fact, Decide Unnar issued show-cause notices to an assistant director of NAB, who was current through the proceedings, and the judicial officers to elucidate why motion will not be taken in opposition to them for defects within the process of the indictment.

The judicial officers mentioned that the decrease division clerk was not authorised to oversee the method because it was the job of the executive courts’ registrar or assistant registrar.

Within the reference, NAB alleged that one firm had acquired advantages of over Rs21 billion between March 2015 and September 2019.

Moreover, the reference said that the nationwide exchequer would endure a lack of Rs47bn by 2029 due to the contract.

Former Oil and Fuel Regulatory Authority chairman Saeed Ahmed Khan, Ogra chairperson Uzma Adil Khan, chairman of the Engro group Hussain Dawood, former chairman Port Qasim Authority Agha Jan Akhtar, former member Ogra Aamir Naseem, former PSO MD Shahid M. Islam and Abdul Samad have additionally been named within the reference.

NAB believed that corruption of some Rs20bn had occurred within the rip-off.

Mr Abbasi was arrested in reference to the case in July 2019 on the allegations of awarding a 15-year contract for a terminal in opposition to the foundations when he was the petroleum minister in former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s cupboard.

The case was reportedly closed by NAB in 2016 however then reopened in 2018.

On Jan 2, NAB’s government board had authorised an investigations in opposition to Mr Abbasi, being the previous minister for petroleum and pure assets, for his alleged involvement in irregularities within the import of LNG.

Printed in Daybreak, December 2nd, 2020

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