A prosecution witness told an accountability court on Wednesday that the corruption allegations the National Accountability Bureau had levelled against Dr Asim Hussain and five other people through a reference were true.
Hussain, a close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardari and the Karachi division president of the Pakistan Peoples Party, along with former senior officials of the Sui Southern Gas Company and the Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDCL), has been accused of misusing authority to fraudulently award contracts of five gas fields to Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited (JJVL).
The reference, filed by a NAB investigating officer, alleged that the suspects had caused losses to the national exchequer to the tune of Rs17.34 billion.The court directed the prosecution to produce another witness at the next hearing, and rejected the defendants’ pleas seeking copies of the references filed by the bureau against them.
Later, talking to journalists, Hussain said PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had visited him at Jinnah Hospital on Tuesday to inquire after his health. He said he had not received any message from anyone through Bilawal.
On May 6 the accountability court had indicted Hussain, Basharat Mirza, Iqbal Z Ahmed along with three others in Rs462 billion corruption cases.
May 12 hearing
An anti-terrorism court granted bail to 17 workers of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement standing trial in two cases related to the May 12, 2007, arson attacks and killings.
The accused were granted bail against a surety sum of Rs200,000 each in the two cases registered at Airport Police Station. Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar has already obtained bail in these cases.
Regent Plaza fire
A court granted interim bail to five men, including owners of Regent Plaza Hotel, for Rs200,000 each.
Zubairuddin Youcha, Muzaffaruddin Youcha, Sa’ad, Arshad Javed and Pervez Saleem are standing trial over charges they were responsible for the deaths of 11 people who died in a fire at the hotel earlier this month.
The district and sessions judge (South) said in his order that the owners and employees had promised to fully cooperate in the investigation.
An accountability court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against former deputy information secretary Anneta Baloch, who is a co accused in a corruption reference filed against former provincial information minister Sharjeel Memon and other people.
Memon and his co-accused are facing charges of corruption of more than five billion rupees. Thirteen of the defendants are in custody and six others have obtained pre-arrest bail.
The court fixed December 17 as the next date of the hearing.
Another accountability court sent KDA officer Shakir alias Langra to prison on judicial remand.
Shakir, along with 15 other people, is alleged to have sold 281 plots through China-cutting.