Ashi­ana scam: Court ex­tends Shah­baz’s re­mand till Nov 24

Khaleej Times - - PAKISTAN -

la­hore — An ac­count­abil­ity court here on Satur­day ex­tended the phys­i­cal re­mand of leader of op­po­si­tion in Na­tional Assem­bly Shah­baz Sharif till Novem­ber 24 in the Ashi­ana-eIqbal Hous­ing scam. How­ever, the court re­jected the Na­tional Ac­count­abil­ity Bureau’s (NAB) re­quest for his phys­i­cal re­mand in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case.

Ear­lier, NAB of­fi­cials pro­duced Shah­baz Sharif be­fore ac­count­abil­ity court judge Syed Na­ja­mul Has­san amid strict se­cu­rity on the ex­piry of his tran­sit re­mand.

A NAB pros­e­cu­tor sub­mit­ted an in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­port and stated that since Shah­baz Sharif was busy at­tend­ing a re­cent ses­sion of the Na­tional Assem­bly, no sig­nif­i­cant progress could be made in in­ves­ti­ga­tion dur­ing the re­mand pe­riod.

He pleaded with the court to ex­tend the re­mand for an­other 15 days. He also sub­mit­ted that Shah­baz Sharif had also been ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the Ramzan Sugar Mills case and re­quested the court to grant a 15-day re­mand in the case.

Shah­baz’s coun­sel Am­jad Per­vaiz op­posed the re­quest, say­ing his client ap­peared be­fore the NAB when­ever sum­moned. He

claimed that Shah­baz com­pletely co­op­er­ated with the bureau which had failed to pro­vide any con­crete ev­i­dence against him de­spite hold­ing him on re­mand.

He re­quested the court to send Shah­baz to jail on ju­di­cial re­mand and op­posed phys­i­cal re­mand in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case.

“The law states that a man who has been ar­rested in one case will be con­sid­ered ar­rested in other cases as well,” he added.

The court later ex­tended the re­mand for an­other 14-day in the Ashi­ana-e-Iqbal Hous­ing scam but re­jected the NAB re­quest for phys­i­cal re­mand in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case. The court or­dered NAB au­thor­i­ties to pro­duce Shah­baz on ex­piry of re­mand term.

Strict se­cu­rity ar­range­ments were made in­side and out­side the court premises on the oc­ca­sion. Shah­baz’s son, Hamza Shah­baz, was also present in the court.

The NAB ar­rested Shah­baz Sharif on Oc­to­ber 5, after he ap­peared

be­fore a NAB team in the Saaf Pani cor­rup­tion case at the ac­count­abil­ity watch­dog’s La­hore of­fice.

Shah­baz was al­legedly in­volved in cor­rup­tion of Rs14 bil­lion in the Ashi­ana hous­ing scheme and Rs4 bil­lion in the Pun­jab Saaf Pani Com­pany scam.

Se­nior bu­reau­crat Fawad Has­san Fawad and La­hore Devel­op­ment Au­thor­ity’s for­mer di­rec­tor Ahad Cheema and oth­ers had al­ready been ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the hous­ing scheme scam. — APP

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