Hearing a graft case against former Sindh information minister Sharjeel Memon and others on a day-to-day basis, an accountability court summoned on Wednesday another prosecution witness to record his testimony.
The accountability judge directed Zafarullah Malah, an officer of the provincial information department, to appear in court on Thursday. Malah has been named as a witness in the charge sheet brought up by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The anti-graft watchdog had filed a reference against Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Memon, former information secretary Dr Zulfiqar Ali Shalwani and 16 others, including employees of the information department, media buying agencies’ officials and some private persons.
The case pertains to irregularities in awarding contracts to different newspapers and channels for running public interest advertisements and others during the tenure of Memon as the Sindh information minister in the PPP’s 2008 government. The minister and officials have been accused of embezzling Rs5.76 billion of public money through fake contracts and bogus expenses.
Fake accounts case
The administrative judge of accountability courts sent a suspect allegedly involved in the fake accounts saga in the custody of NAB for four days on transit remand. NAB presented Zia-ur-Rasheed Abbasi before the judge stating that the suspect was an additional registrar at the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan who registered the Park Lane Company and others reportedly owned by former president Asif Ali Zardari and his kin.
Abbasi informed the judge that he had registered the companies following the code and had no ulterior motives behind it. He said he had already told NAB about this and thought that the investigators were convinced with his version and therefore did not obtain bail earlier.
The judge directed NAB to present the suspect before an accountability court in Islamabad within the stipulated time. PPP Co-Chairperson Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and some other persons, including Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed, former Summit Bank president Hussain Lawai, have already been arrested in this case.