Dr Asim Nabbed for another Two Weeks

Written by  Published by:Pakistan Views Wednesday, 23 December 2015 20:19

KARACHI: An accountability court in Karachi on Wednesday extended the remand of former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain till January 5 over his alleged role in illegal appointments and award of contracts in the Sui Southern Gas Company.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) through its Investigating Officer Zameer Abbasi furnished a letter before the accountability judge, claiming half of the data regarding the alleged money laundering and record of Ziauddin Trust’s land, which is owned by the former minister, was to be recovered.

Requesting the court to allow physical remand of the accused, Abbasi said more raids and arrests were also to be made as part of the investigation.

Meanwhile, the Dr Asim’s counsel Amer Raza Naqvi, opposed seeking of remand, saying the accused remained in custody for a period of 120 days which, he said, was a violation of law.

He argued the investigators could not bring any incriminating evidence during inquiry, and instead levelled false allegations against his client.

The NAB is empowered to keep in custody a suspect for 90 days but has to ensure the latter’s presence before a judge every two weeks.

Dr Asim’s counsel said the period allowed to the accountability body for investigation was already over, as the PPP leader was taken into custody on August 27.

However, NAB’s Deputy Prosecutor General Amjad Ali Shah intervened, saying the suspect was in the custody of Rangers earlier and his custody was given to the bureau weeks after the remand period ended.

NAB had arrested the former minister from the Sindh High Court on Dec 11, after an administrative judge of the ATC allowed the accountability body to take him into custody after police released him under Section 497(2) of CrPC. He was under police custody for allegedly facilitating treatment and providing refuge to terrorists at his hospital.

Dr Asim, who is also a close confidante of former president Asif Ali Zardari, was arrested by Rangers on August 26 and placed into 90-day preventive detention.

Meanwhile, the accountability judge asked the investigators to submit the joint JIT report on the next hearing. The hearing was adjourned for two weeks.

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