Former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, son appear before accountability court

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and his son Abdullah Khaqan appeared before the accountability court in Islamabad in an LNG supplementary reference.

The hearing of LNG supplementary reference was heard by the accountability court’s judge Azam Khan. Abdullah Khaqan’s lawyer submitted power of attorney in the court.

Previously, Abdullah Khaqan was stopped from travelling outside Pakistan.

The judge questioned NAB’s prosecutor regarding the confirmation of foreign-based companies named in the corruption reference and timeframe for the submission of their compliance reports.

The NAB prosecutor replied that all companies named in the reference were foreign and that it would take 2 weeks to get compliance reports.

Barrister Zafarullah told the court that two companies are based in Britain, however, it is still unconfirmed whether the given addresses were accurate.

Judge Azam Khan said that legal procedures will be followed and the case will proceed step by step. He said indiction of the accused persons will be made after the submission of compliance reports of the said companies. He added that copies of the supplementary reference should be distributed to them.

The court adjourned the hearing till October 20.

On September 7, the accountability court had issued notices to five new accused named in a supplementary reference filed in the case to appear in court on next hearing on December 22. The PML-N leader was in attendance in court.

According to a supplementary reference, the PML-N leader had been receiving funds from Trinity Company located in the UAE, said to be working with an India-based firm, Siddhart Private Limited.

$538,895 was transferred to Ex-PM Abbasi’s account in three instalments from a Dubai bank, the reference revealed, adding that the UAE government provided the national graft buster with evidence in this regard as the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) also confirmed these transactions.

NAB added, the former prime minister, when confronted, was unable to give a satisfactory explanation as to these transactions. It disclosed that more than Rs637 million funds were transferred to the accounts of Abbasi and his son Abdullah.

Former prime minister Abbasi, Miftah Ismail, ex-PSO MD Imranul Haq and others are facing charges of corruption over awarding LNG import contract allegedly at exorbitant rates in 2015, which caused a big loss to the national exchequer.

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