The hearing in a corruption reference against former Fishermen Co-operative Society (FCS) chairman Nisar Morai, vice chairman Sultan Qamar Siddiqui and 12 other co-accused has been adjourned till May 9.
During a hearing on Friday, the judge of the accountability court noted that one of the nominated accused Amjad was not produced before the court. Lawyers said that Amjad had fallen ill and could not be brought to court.
The court directed another co-accused – Haji Wali, who is out on bail from the Sindh High Court and was at the hearing – to provide copies of documents, which he had claimed were a proof of his innocence.
As the charges against Nisar Morai and others (who were present in the court) could not be framed on Friday, the court fixed May 9 as the next date of hearing. The court also issued non-bailable warrant of arrest against two absconding accused Abdul Mannan and Abus Saeed Khan.
The corruption reference states that Nisar Morai, Sultan Qamar Siddiqui and others were involved in huge corruption and illegal appointments of more than 400 employees at the FCS.
The NAB authorities first picked four officers of the FCS – Gul Munner, Shaukat Baloch, Haji Wali Muhammad and Abu Bakar – after obtaining physical remand from the court concerned During interrogation, they reportedly confessed to having committed corruption of more than Rs5 billion at the directive of former FSC chairman Nisar Morai, and to have made illegal appointments on some 400 vacancies. Morai is also facing a murder case as he is alleged to have killed the then Pakistan Steel chairman Sajjad Hussain in 1998 in Defence Housing Authority.
Dr Asim allowed to travel
Meanwhile, an accountability court granted permission to former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain to leave the country from May 10 to May 27. Earlier, the attorney for Hussain moved an application seeking permission for his ailing client to visit Dubai and New York from May 10 to May 27.
As the court took up the case of corruption of more than Rs462 billion against Dr Asim Hussain and others on Friday, it was noted that NAB had failed to produce any witnesses. The court expressing its displeasure said it was imperative to produce a witness but NAB had not done so. The court directed the NAB authorities concerned to ensure the appearance of the due witness on May 14 – the next date of hearing.
Hussain, a former petroleum minister and a close aide to former president Asif Ali Zardari is being tried in this case along with former natural resources secretary Ejaz Chaudhry, Karachi Docks Labour Board’s former CEO Safdar Hussain, KDA’s ex-directors Syed Athar Hussain, Masood Haider Jaffery, and Ziauddin Group Finance Director Abdul Hameed.
They are facing charges pertaining to land fraud amounting to Rs9.5 billion, money laundering amounting to Rs3 billion and misuse of authority, criminal breach of trust through fertiliser scam of Rs450 billion.